FAQs from Virtual Parent Town Hall - COVID Testing and Learning Models
New York State (NYS) deemed numerous areas throughout the state as yellow zones due high COVID-19 positivity rates, and other factors. Parts of Newburgh and New Windsor are included in a yellow zone. All schools in the district are part of this yellow zone due to their address, except for Balmville and Fostertown.
Being part of a yellow zone means the district has to coordinate testing of our scholars for COVID-19. Schools in yellow zones must test 20% of students, staff and faculty. Schools can remain open while testing occurs.
The district is given a two-week window to perform the 20% testing. Our 20% testing mandate must be complete no later than Monday, February 1, 2021. If the results of the school testing revealed the positivity rate among the 20% of those tested is lower than the yellow zone’s 7-day positivity rate, testing at that school will no longer be required to continue.
If the results of the testing over the two weeks reveal that the positivity rate among in-person students, staff and faculty is higher than the Yellow Zone’s current 7-day positivity rate, the school will be required to continue to test 20% of the in-person population on a bi-weekly basis.
Testing will occur in collaboration with Horizon Family Medical Group, professionals in the medical field. NECSD school nurses will be supported on test administration by medical professionals from Horizon Family Medical Group. NECSD school nurses will administer the tests to scholars, faculty, and staff.
Test location and administration
Tests will be administered at school building locations, during the regularly scheduled school day. Tests will be administered by school nurse professionals.
Consent forms need to be completed prior to testing. Consent gives NECSD permission to administer the test. Consent forms will be sent to families electronically, be made available in hard copy at schools, sent home with students on January 19th and if a family wishes to have a form hand delivered, we will accommodate. Please reach out to your principal with any questions. Additional distribution strategies will be forthcoming.
If a test comes back as positive, a person will be isolated until they are able to leave the building. The person should begin the isolation process. The isolation period for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has remained at 10 days by the NYS Department of Health The quarantine period for people who have been exposed to COVID-19 has changed from 14 days to 10 days by NYS Department of Health We also are continuing to monitor other numbers and results received by the OCDOH, so quarantines and potential transitions to remote learning may still happen based on other test data we receive.
Temperature checks upon entry to school buildings for all individuals
Daily Health Questionnaires for Faculty/Staff
Weekly Health Questionnaires for scholars
Covid Testing procedures
3 W’s: Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance
The rapid tests are highly accurate. They are not as accurate the send away tests but they are still an important tool in the fight against COVID-19 Spead. The possibility of false positives are very rare.
Yes, however, if we are not able to test 20% of a school, then the scholars in that school building will be forced to transition to remote learning until we are able to test 20% or the yellow zone guidance is changed or removed by NYS.
We are bound by the directives from the NYS Department of Health. NYS did not include these schools in the Yellow Zone designation.
Students in all grades may be selected for testing.
The district is following the current NYS guidelines for schools in a Yellow Zone.
Community Based UPK providers should contact a local healthcare provider to coordinate testing at their site.
Scholars will remain separated from others while they wait for their results.
Yes, if a student tests negative the results will be sent home. If a student tests positive, the parents/guardians will receive a phone call.
Yes, families will be informed when testing is occurring in their school building.
Parents wishing to be present during testing must contact the principal to make arrangements.
The tests are free to parents and the district. Costs are incurred by the New York State Department of Health.
Parents may take their child for testing outside of the district. The district may use the results as long as the date range falls within the January 19 - February 1 time frame and the formal results from the testing lab are provided to the school nurse.
School nurses are trained to assist students exhibiting anxiety. The nurse will use professional judgement when working with each individual student.
Schools have been deemed by NYS to be safe to remain open as the data from contact tracing has shown that COVID-19 spread is not spreading at a high rate in schools.
The NECSD strongly encourages that scholars choose to attend in-person learning, currently using the hybrid model. Due to current social distancing guidelines, the hybrid model is used to minimize capacity, so learning can occur at a safe distance. These guidelines and practices are the reasons it is believed that COVID spread in schools is low.
Yes. Additional information about wearing masks in schools can be found here.
All scholars in grades PreK-12, who opted for hybrid learning in the fall will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. All scholars who completed the Learning Model Change Request by Friday, January 15th at 4pm and opted to change from 100% remote to the hybrid learning model will return to in-person learning at the beginning of the 3rd quarter on Monday, February 1, 2021.
If you would like to change your current learning model status, complete the Learning Model Change Request by Friday, January 15th at 4pm.
If you do not want to change your current learning model, you do not need to do anything at this time.
If you are unsure of your scholar’s current learning model and need to know before determining if you would like to make a change, please visit your Parent Portal page or contact your school building.
Yes, scholars will be taught by their classroom teacher(s).
We are hopeful that all scholars can return to in-person learning for the 4th quarter, beginning on Monday, April 19, 2021. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will communicate further as that date draws near.
Cohort groups for scholars are Blue, Gold, and 100% Virtual Learning. Cohort groups will be emailed to student emails and the emails listed in Parent Portal accounts prior to Monday, February 1, 2021.
Students and families can also find student cohort assignments in their Parent/Student Portal account. Under the 'Documents' section, please look for a document titled 'Schedules Qtr. 1-4.' The cohort is listed at the bottom of the page. If your child was placed in a hybrid learning model, but requested a 100% virtual learning model, please contact the building principal.
If you need access to your Parent Portal account, please contact your scholar’s school building.
If all children in the family have selected the Hybrid Model, they should be in the same Cohort (Blue or Gold). If there is a mix of Hybrid scholars and 100% Virtual scholars in a family, they may be in different Cohorts.
If you have multiple children who each selected a hybrid model, but they were not assigned the same color group, please contact the building principals.
Parent-teacher Conferences were held during November and December if you were unable to attend please contact your child's teacher or guidance counselor to set up an appointment.
At this time, the January Regents have been cancelled. All scholars should attend their regularly scheduled classes on those dates. There has not been a determination about the June Regents at this time.
You can find your bus information by accessing the Bus Route Information Page. You just need your scholars ID number and the bus route information will be provided. For scholars returning January 19th, 2021, we expect the bus information to be available on Friday, January 15, 2021.
ATTENTION: Are your scholars or colleagues doing something great? Please contact the district Communications Strategist, Cassie Sklarz (email@example.com). We’d love to visit your class or event and/or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district!