HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR 2021-22
A Message from the Superintendent
Welcome to the 2021-22 school year! Our community is strong, resilient, and kind - and this year, we will continue our shared mission of preparing all students for excellence. These plans are fluid. Flexibility and responsiveness have been necessary in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are optimistic that as our community continues to mitigate spread, our district will be able to update our plans in a responsible, compassionate way.
We had truly hoped to start this year on a more typical note, and are sorry to see the ways in which the COVID-19 virus has evolved and disrupted our plans. However, when it comes to providing quality academic, social emotional, and extracurricular opportunities for Tuckahoe students, we are undeterred. We have seen what this community can do when confronted with obstacles, and we know that greatness lies ahead. Tuckahoe will continue to lead the way because Tuckahoe is in this together.
Policies for the 2021-22 School Year
For the 2021-22 School Year, our primary model will be full-time, in-person learning. This includes a return to regular class sizes and in-person classes with physical distancing in accordance with current guidelines.
Regardless of vaccination status, all students, employees, and members of the public over the age of two must wear masks indoors.
Individuals are not required to wear masks outdoors.
On district transportation, masks must be worn by all individuals at all times.
Mask-wearing is a crucial element in keeping our schools open. Students who are 3 to 6 feet apart, with a well fitted mask, do not have to quarantine. Vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine unless they are exhibiting symptoms.These guidelines will be followed in school and when followed in community, we expect very few quarantines the school year.
In school buildings we strive to maintain at least three feet of physical distancing at all times indoors. We will maintain six feet of physical distancing for lunch, or when students are using wind instruments in band or singing in chorus.
There is no remote learning option for students in the 2021-22 school year. We will, of course, be responsive to the needs of families who may need to quarantine.
Families who would like to homeschool may contact the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at (914) 337- 6600 ext 1224.
We remain committed to communicating all elements of the reopening plan to students, families, staff, and visitors. As we plan to be nimble and responsive to changes, communication is key.
We will communicate through this website, presentations to the Board of Education, and Blackboard Connect blast email messages.. If you do not receive these emails, please contact your child's main office.
Vaccination Requirements and Testing
There is currently no requirement that eligible students be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend school. All immunization requirements pertaining to public schools are set by New York State and individual school districts do not have the authority to require vaccinations for students. As of May, all New York State residents ages 12 and up are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Schools are required to offer COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated students whose parents or guardians consent to such testing.
As per Commissioner’s Determination on COVID-19 Testing Pursuant to 10NYCCR 2.62., the TUFSD is responsible for conducting ensuring unvaccinated individuals working in the school setting get tested once per week.
Daily Health Surveys
Daily Health Survey will no longer be required; however, students who feel ill should stay home.
NYDOH: September 2021 Recommends regular COVID testing and requires weekly testing for unvaccinated faculty and staff:
Mandated Screening Testing of Faculty and Staff:
All those faculty and staff members who are not fully vaccinated are subject to weekly testing for COVID-19 infection and those who are fully vaccinated must be included in the testing program unless they opt-out from the testing. Teachers who work at multiple sites need only be screened on time during the week.
Offered Student Screening Testing:
Students who are not fully vaccinated must be offered the opportunity to be tested on a weekly basis, through a parental consent process, in areas where the rate of transmission of COVID-19 is in moderate, substantial, or high range, as determined by the CDC.
The Mandate for Diagnostic Testing:
School Districts and BOCES are required to establish diagnostic capacity for testing on-site or through referral for students, staff, and faculty who, regardless of vaccination status, are symptomatic or determined to have been “close contacts” of COVID-19 infected individuals. The District is referring staff/students to their health provider or
Return to School Testing Following Exposure to COVID-19:
All students, staff, and faculty who exhibit new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 must be excluded from school, including those who have been fully vaccinated, until such individuals present a negative COVID-19 test result or stay out from school for a minimum of 10 calendar days from the onset of symptoms, the symptoms are improving, and the person is fever-free (without the use of fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours. Such return must be with a note from a health care provider stating that the COVID-19 test was negative or the individual is symptom-free, or by providing a copy of the negative test result. Symptomatic, fully vaccinated, individuals, are not exempt from the return-to-school protocols described above.
Test Required for Return to School:
The standard COVID-19 test for return-to-school is the NAAT test. A negative antigen test, noted to be less reliable, may be used in lieu of the NAAT subject to certain criteria being met, as described in the NYSDOH September 2, 2021,
Persons with Pre-existing Conditions - not COVID-19 - Allowed in School:
- Individuals with symptoms that are attributable to pre-existing medical conditions (e.g., migraines, allergies) and are not new or worsening, do not require school exclusion; or
- If the health care provider furnishes a diagnosis of a know chronic condition with unchanged symptoms or a confirmed acute illness (such as laboratory-confirmed influenza, strep-throat) and COVID-19 is not suspected, a health care provider’s signed note explaining the diagnosis is required before the student, staff or faculty member may be allowed to return to school.
Authorized Tests and Testing:
Only FDA or NYSDOH approved tests may be used for screening, diagnosis, or pooled testing (if permissible). The laboratory determining the test results must be New York State approved. For high complexity NAAT testing, the laboratory must hold a clinical laboratory permit.
Important Links and Guidance
- Tuckahoe Union Free School Districts Policies and Alignment with Guidance
- A Message from the Superintendent - 08/27/21 - “Welcome Back from Dr. Goodman”
- New York State Education Department (NYSED)
- Face Coverings for COVID-19 Prevention
- Westchester County Department of Health (WDOH)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)