COVID Update — Aug. 20, 2021
I am writing today with our third weekly update regarding reopening as it relates to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that you continue to be safe and well. I’m glad to report that as we provided in-person summer programming and monitored the health of our District with data provided to us, the delta variant seems to have had a minimal impact on our school community. Your efforts to vaccinate and mask are paying off. If you are not yet vaccinated and would like information on where vaccinations are being offered, we’d be happy to assist you in finding a location.
Thanks for your continued patience. As we see transitions in state leadership positions, we are expecting, and planning for, potential shifts in requirements etc. However, I see no reason why anything that we have already communicated will change. In other words, we’re ready to adjust and be flexible, but we’re very much full steam ahead! Your thoughtful, calm, and reasonable approach as a school community is both much appreciated and very helpful. Keep at it, Brighton!
Please note the updates below and consider joining in or asking a question via the exchange and/or the community Zoom.
Kevin McGowan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
What we know now …
What we’ve decided since last week …
What’s coming up next …
We are reopening for all students, five days per week.
We have updated the District’s reopening plan. We will continue to make adjustments along the way, but would like you to review the draft as it stands right now. It can be accessed by clicking here.
The draft considers feedback from the District Safety Committee, but changes are still pending.
We will be distributing the Monroe County Department of Public Health protocols for “return to school” following a COVID related absence or exposure.
We are not able to offer a remote option for next year.
We would like to answer any questions that you have and provide clarity as needed. We’re also interested in your feedback as we make final adjustments. Please weigh in by clicking here to jump into an exchange.
We know that vaccination, masking, distance, and ventilation are key components to safety. We will be developing a description of the ventilation strategies that we have been using for distribution in next week’s update.
We will require universal indoor masking for all students and staff, despite vaccination status.
We are looking forward to discussing your feedback, answering your questions, and providing a space for you to share your thoughts beyond the exchange. Please consider joining a community Zoom on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. Click here for the link.
We’re awaiting word on what protocols may be put in place by the state or county regarding surveillance testing.
We will provide as much distance as possible in all activities.
We are not requiring COVID vaccinations for students or staff. Our staff is nearly 100% vaccinated.
We will be prepared to “go remote” and adjust our plans should circumstances require such a change.
We will not be requiring the daily health screening attestation, but we will ask for families and staff to attest at the beginning of the school year. We will regularly remind the school community of what they should be looking for and the reasons to stay home.
All athletic activities are still being planned as normal. We will consider mitigation strategies, but have no plan to reduce or eliminate teams or activities.
All performing arts activities are being planned as normal. We will consider additional mitigation strategies, but have no plan to reduce or eliminate groups, ensembles or activities.
We will provide transportation for all students and not limit bus capacity. We will follow the guidelines for municipal transportation including the mandating of masking for all riders.
We will provide as much distance as possible for eating and at BHS we will use outdoor space.
Students will be encouraged to have their masks off for a minimal amount of time and we will be assigning seats or tracking their indoor seating in a manner that ensures limited exposure and efficient contact tracing if needed.
We will allow students and staff to unmask outdoors if fully vaccinated (we will not ask for verification or require proof of vaccination).