Letter from Dr. Godshall In Regards COVID-19
January 15, 2021
Dear Orleans/Niagara BOCES Community:
The rate of COVID-19 infections caused certain areas in Western New York to be designated a “Yellow Zone” to indicate the severity of the outbreak. Per Governor Cuomo’s rules the O/N BOCES was required to test 20% of those attending our centers that were located in a yellow zone. The zones can include specific streets and addresses or could include buildings within the identified zip code. It is possible for a school in one zip code to be designated, while a school in a different zip code would not be.
We thank the local component districts that assisted us to conduct the testing of BOCES attendees. Our positivity rate was well below the regional rate and allows us to remain open and continue our in-person instructional services.
The Commissioners of Public Health have stated that schools remain one of the safest places to be during this pandemic. This is due to our health and safety protocols in place. We continue to urge students and staff to help control the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the following guidelines at all times:
- When interacting with individuals who are not part of your household, wear a mask and stay six feet apart
- Avoid large gatherings, especially inside a home or other enclosure
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and consult with your health care provider
Our students, faculty and staff have diligently followed our health and safety protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Depending on how the pandemic progresses, it is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the school year based on recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies and the Governor’s Executive Orders. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and the response to the virus in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making.
Please know it is our goal to maintain in-person instruction as long as we can do so in a safe manner. We will continue to work closely with the local County Departments of Health, and make decisions based on local, regional and state data. Regarding student attendance: Teachers will be taking attendance every day and during every class. They will take attendance during the synchronous (live, real-time) learning at the beginning of each period. It is important students follow their schedule and login in a timely manner to complete both synchronous and asynchronous (on-line) assignments. Thank you for your on-going support during these most challenging times!
As always, we will keep you informed as circumstances change.
Dr. Clark Godshall