• Post Vaccination Guidelines

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  • Updated April 6, 2021

    Begining April 12, 2021, all students may return to the Middle School/High School for in person learning.  We will no longer use the cohort model.

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  • Updated January 26, 2021

    3rd Graders in-person instruction on Monday, Februrary 3, 2021

    4th Graders in person instruction week of February 10, 2021

    5th Graders in person instruction week of February 25, 2021

     

    Given that there are families who still have chosen remote instruction.  We will continue asynchronous Wednesdays on the following days:

    3/10; 3/17; 4/14; 4/21; 5/12; 5/19; 6/9; and 6/16

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  • January 5, 2021 Update

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  • Please see attached for an important COVID Update

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  • North Salem Schools COVID November 24th Update

    PQ and the MSHS Reopen Monday November 30th, Moving from the Current Remote Learning to Hybrid Learning

    Transition from the Hybrid Model to the In-person Phase in Resumes for K and 1

    The quarantine of over three dozen staff members identified as close contacts has ended and we are pleased to announce that we can reopen on Monday and continue our transition to in-person learning. Kindergarten classes start in person learning on Monday, November 30th and first grade will start in person learning on Thursday, December 3rd, bringing an end to the hybrid model in those grades.  Details on the start-up are forthcoming from our principals.

    Asynchronous Wednesdays

    We learned a lot from our two November asynchronous Wednesdays.  We are grateful to parents for their patience as we provided teachers time for collaboration as they planned instruction and assessment for hybrid and remote learners.  Assuming our schools remain open in the coming weeks, the next two asynchronous days will be December 2nd and January 27th, reducing them to once a month through January. 

    Infection Rate

    As has been widely reported in the press, school infection rates are very low.  This is true in North Salem as well.  The infection rates for the schools are much lower than for the town, as we enter the Thanksgiving break. We are keeping our schools cleaned and disinfected, wearing masks, and we are maintaining social distancing.  You can monitor our daily infection data on the State’s dashboard, called the COVID 19 Report Card. The information is posted daily.  Click on the link below to access it.

    https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home 

    Preparation for Testing Our Students and Employees.

    The identification of yellow, orange and red zones of infection rates is spreading every day.  Should we be identified as a yellow zone, the State will require we test 20% of our students and employees every two weeks.  We are making arrangements with an outside vendor to conduct the testing onsite should we be required by the State.

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  • Dear North Salem Families and Community:

    I am writing with an update to our communications over the weekend regarding the COVID-19 case at PQ.  Since this morning we have had COVID-19 related developments at both PQ and the MSHS, the details of which are found below.

    PQ
    As we continued our contact tracing at PQ we were informed that a second individual has been designated as a presumptive positive COVID-19 case today.  Therefore, PQ will move to remote learning until Monday, November 30th due to a COVID staffing shortage.  Students in the STEP Program at PQ will resume in-person learning tomorrow, Tuesday, November 17th.  In-person learning for all other students will resume on Monday, November 30th.

    MSHS
    Today, we also learned that two (2) individuals at the MSHS have tested positive for COVID-19.  Contact tracing at the MSHS is underway.  Any individual(s) deemed to be exposed must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days from the date of last exposure and should be assessed by a physician.  North Salem Central School District personnel will contact those individual(s) deemed to be contacts of a positive COVID-19 case.  If you are not notified by District personnel within the next 48-72 hours, your child is NOT believed to have any risk of exposure.  As a result of this new information, the MSHS will also move to remote learning until Monday, November 30th due to a COVID staffing shortage.  Students in the STEP Program at the MSHS will continue with in-person learning tomorrow, Tuesday, November 17th.  In-person learning for all other students will resume on Monday, November 30th.    

    Students who attend the PNW BOCES Career and Technical Education Center must access their BOCES programs remotely until contact tracing at the MSHS is completed.
       
    The District is continuously evaluating new information as it comes in.  Please be assured that we will be transparent about any positive COVID-19 cases in our district, and we will keep you informed if more information needs to be communicated.  On behalf of the entire school community, thank you for doing your part to keep us all safe.

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  • November 15 North Salem Schools COVID Update

     

    We continue to work with the Department of Health on contract tracing which has not been completed as of this evening.  Therefore, PQ will move to remote learning for Monday, November 16th.  We will update you tomorrow afternoon regarding the rest of the week.  

     

    Ken Freeston

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  • November 14, 2020

     

    Dear North Salem Families and Community,

    Today we were informed that an individual within the North Salem Central School District has been designated as a COVID-19 case.  The individual was last on District grounds at Pequenakonck Elementary (PQ) School on Monday, November 9, 2020.  We are required by law to maintain this person’s confidentiality, which prevents us from further identifying the individual and his or her specific role or function in the district.

    We are working collaboratively with the Westchester County Department of Health to identify any students and/or employees who may have been exposed.  Any individual(s) deemed to be exposed must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days from the date of last exposure and should be assessed by a physician.

    As a result of this notification, the North Salem Central School District is taking the following actions:

    • Contact tracing is underway and will be completed over the weekend
    • The District is continuously evaluating new information as it comes in and isevaluating PQ’s readiness to open based on staffing coverage
    • The next update will be communicated to you by the evening of Sunday, November 15, 2020, regarding the plans for Monday, November 16, 2020

    The Department of Health has a Contact Tracing system in place when they are notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19.  The intent of this system is to identify those who may have been in contact with an individual who has been identified as a COVID-19 case.  We will work collaboratively with the Department of Health as contacts within the district are identified. 

    If your child is identified as a contact of the individual who tested positive, we anticipate that you will receive a call from a Contact Tracer.  When receiving a call from a Contact Tracer, your caller ID may read NYS Contact Tracing or display a phone number with a (518) area code. Please answer these calls promptly and provide the Contact Tracers with the information they need to keep us all safe.

    In addition to the Contact Tracing system, the district will also notify families if their children have been identified as having contact with an individual who has been identified as a COVID-19 case. If you are not notified within the next 48 hours, your child is NOT believed to have any risk of exposure.

    If at any point you believe that your child may have been in contact with someone who has been identified as a COVID-19 case, your child must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days and his or her primary care physician should be consulted.  Your child cannot attend in-person schooling until the Department of Health releases him or her from quarantine.  As a reminder, if you suspect your child is becoming ill, he or she should stay home from school and the school should be notified. 

    Please be assured that we will be transparent about any positive COVID-19 cases in our district, and we will keep you informed if more information needs to be communicated.  On behalf of the entire school community, thank you for doing your part to keep us all safe.

    Ken Freeston

     

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  • November 4, 2020 In Person Learning

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  • DOH Frequently Asked Questions Update

    October 28, 2020

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  • North Salem School District COVID Update, October 26, 2020

     

    Contact Tracing Continues

    The Westchester County Department of Health (DOH) is continuing to trace contacts.  As soon as the DOH confirms a positive or presumed positive case based on their guidelines, they inform us which students and staff will be considered by the DOH to be close contacts. We then supply the DOH with the names, email addresses and phone numbers. 

     

    Late Friday, our staff then called everyone whose name was given to the DOH to let them know that the DOH would be in touch with them.  The DOH conducts the formal contact tracing, which we have learned can take several days.

     

    COVID Staff Shortage, MSHS to Go All Synchronous Remote, PQ to Continue the Hybrid Cohort In-Person Instruction

    We now know that we have a COVID staff shortage at the MSHS and will need to begin all synchronous remote instruction tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27 through and including at least Friday, October 30, 2020 and possibly longer. Only faculty and staff who have been asked to quarantine will remain at home. All other faculty and staff will report to school for their regular 9 period day. Students in the MSHS STEP program will be contacted individually by their teachers regarding plans for this week. MSHS plans for the week of November 2 will be communicated by Friday, October 30. 

     

    We have no close contacts at PQ. Therefore, we continue with our hybrid cohort-based instruction model. Students in the PQ STEP program will continue in person this week.  There was some confusion and concern about this over the weekend.  Please understand that a school may have a positive case with no close contacts.

     

    Quarantine and Isolation Decisions

    The decision to quarantine and/or isolate positively tested individuals and their contacts for 14 days is made and enforced by the DOH, not the school district.  As outlined in the New York State DOH COVID-19 Decision Making Flowchart for Student Attendance, even if a contact presents a negative test result during the 14 days, the contact is still required to continue the quarantine for the full 14 days.

     

    State COVID Dashboard

    Another point of confusion over the weekend was that the State Dashboard posts more details than school districts distribute directly to their respective communities.   Here’s why: under state and legal guidance school districts notify their employees and community if an individual has tested positive, without identifying whether the individual is a teacher, staff member or student. At the same time, school districts are required by the state to submit very detailed information daily.  We supply this information to the state: onsite and offsite enrollment, onsite and offsite number of teachers and staff, number of teachers, staff and students who were referred to their physicians or referred for testing, and number of positive test results for both onsite and offsite individuals.

     

    The state then pulls some of that data to post on their daily dashboard for every school in the state.  The daily submission deadline is 4:00 PM.  Use this link to access the dashboard: https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home

     

    Public schools, private schools, BOCES, colleges and universities, charter schools’ information is updated every day.

     

    Please remember that a school can report a positive case without having any close contacts

     

    Athletics

    The district has received authorization from the Westchester DOH to resume interscholastic athletics as of tomorrow, October 27.

     

    Food Distribution

    Breakfast and lunch will be available for pick up M-F from 8:30 -9:30 A.M. at the MSHS Cafeteria entrance for all students that are remote learning. In addition, on Friday meals will be provided for Saturday and Sunday.

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  • North Salem Hybrid Model Change

    Asynchronous Wednesdays to begin K-12 November 4, 2020

    All in phase in begins

    As we bring week 7 to a close, we still do not have any positive COVID cases in our school district.  We are however experiencing an increase in the number of individuals being identified as close contacts and facing 14 day quarantines.

    Why the change?

    The modification was originally proposed by the NSTA leadership.  After three weeks of discussion with union leadership I now fully concur with the modification.  Simply put, in this current cohort A, cohort B, and fully remote model, teachers need more time to collaborate, plan and design new forms of instruction and assessment of student work.  Moreover, we are hearing from some students and their parents that an asynchronous day each week will help students catch up and independently manage their work.  Five to seven hours of screen time everyday can be exhausting.   We now believe that asynchronous learning on Wednesdays will increase the quality of instruction on the synchronous days.

    How long will this last?

    To help all of us plan our work and family lives we will make this change for increments of 30 days and will assess whether to extend as each 30-day period ends.  For this first month, Wednesday, November 11, Veterans day, will remain school closed day. Wednesday, November 25 will be an asynchronous day for all students and school is on early dismissal per the calendar for Thanksgiving.   

    Infection Transmission

    While we still have no positive cases, many of our neighboring districts do.  We are, however, seeing an increase in contact tracing in the past two weeks.  We are grateful to parents for their daily screening work and for sharing information about pediatrician referred testing results and alternative diagnoses.

    As with most of our neighboring school districts we have concerns about increased numbers of college students returning for extended periods of time and for the approaching holiday gatherings.  Washing hands, wearing masks and observing social distancing from now to January 1st will help keep us all safe.

    The Next Transition, Beginning All In-Person

    Our students have been terrific. Adaptable, cautious, caring and very happy to be re-engaged with school.  Hopefully soon we will be able to have more of them here every day. 

    We recognize many, many parents want us to return to a fully in person model. We understand this change represents a hardship on working and single parent families.  We hope that 30 day planning periods and the regularity of every Wednesday are helpful.

    We are now bringing back more students to in person learning, beginning with students with disabilities and English language learners, to be followed by grades K-1. This will likely happen during this first 30 day cycle. More details next week.

    We are grateful for your patience as we balance risk of transmission with DOH requirements. 

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  • Decision Making Flowchart

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  • NYS Testing Site Locations

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  • New York Restricted Travel States

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  • North Salem Schools Reopening Status, August 13

    Our staggered phase-in hybrid approach to reopening will begin on September 8.   

    September 8

    In person instruction begins for Grades K-2, 6, 8, 9 and 12, in two cohorts. Remote learning starts for all other grades. This staggered approach gives us time to safely open the schools with a smaller density of students which will allow us to make adjustments and enhancements as we start up.

    September 21 

    In person instruction begins for grades 3-5, 7, 10 and 11, in 2 cohorts. 

    This morning the principals are sending emails to parents with more details on how the cohorts will be formed and how they will operate.

    Full Time Remote Learning

    Some parents have asked if they can elect full time remote learning.  The answer is yes. Parents will be able to elect this option at quarterly intervals throughout the year. We have added switches, increased bandwidth and upgraded access points.  This will enable remote learners to have a live connection to the classroom.

    Important Parent Canvassing

    Today we are canvassing every parent on use of transportation and whether you are electing remote learning for your children. We are asking for your responses by Tuesday, August 18 at 3:00PM so that we can assign students to classes and create bus routing and seating.  The questionnaire will be in the principal emails.  

    School Offices Reopen

    Our school and district offices will officially open and be staffed as of Monday, August 17. This summer we were able to conduct business through a blend of in person and remote access by staff.  Please wear a mask and observe social distancing 

    FAQ status

    While we have been working on the details of this staggered opening plan we have been reviewing 170 plus questions submitted to the district. We have grouped the questions into categories and will start releasing answers to the most frequently asked questions next week. In addition many of the questions are being addressed in the grade level meetings the principals are holding with parents. 

    The Westchester DOH issued their own FAQ on reopening schools, link below.  It is an excellent, comprehensive resource. Details about testing, contact tracing, and quarantine are clearly described.

    https://health.westchestergov.com/images/stories/PDF/faqschoolreopening082020.pdf

    Returning to New York From Travel to a Restricted State

    New York will strictly enforce mandatory 14 day quarantine for families who return from travel to a restricted state.  The Westchester DOH link above provides more detail.

    Emotional Support

    For many in our school community these times are laced with stress and anxiety.   Opening school will help for some, but others will need support.   To move forward we need to encourage a culture where we can care for one another.  

     

    Ken Freeston 

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  • To view the complete July 30, 2020 Town Hall Meeting.

     

    Click Here

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