Dear Rye Community,
Happy New Year! I hope that you and your families enjoyed the winter break. As we begin 2021, I am hopeful that we will begin to see improvements in the health and safety of the RCSD community as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
In the last few days, the school district has been informed of a number of new positive COVID-19 cases among individuals in our school community. As we were on break, there was no in-school exposure that required any school-related quarantines or contact tracing. The new cases are as follows:
- 10 at Rye High School
- 3 at Rye Middle School
- 1 at Osborn School
- 2 at Milton School
As we prepare to return to school tomorrow, Monday, January 4th, and in order to ensure a safe reopening for our students and staff, I’d like to draw your attention to a few important reminders:
- If your family has traveled outside of New York State and its contiguous states or to countries with a CDC Level 2 or higher designation over the break, you must follow the guidelines put for by Governor Cuomo in his Travel Advisory. As a public school district, we are required to enforce these guidelines. If your student/you has/have traveled out of state/country for more than 24 hours and have not completed the mandatory 10-day (formerly 14-day) quarantine, or have not tested negative three days prior to returning to New York State and then on day four after return, he/she/you may not physically enter one of our school buildings. If we learn that you/your student has violated quarantine rules, then it is incumbent upon us to ask you/your student to leave the school building immediately and to report the infraction to the New York State Department of Health (DOH). Believe me when I say that this is the last thing that anyone in the District wants to do.
- As I shared in an earlier communication, the NYS DOH recently altered its mandatory quarantine requirements for people who have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 but have not developed symptoms. Previously, asymptomatic individuals who had been exposed to COVID-19 had to quarantine for 14 days; now, the required quarantine period is 10 days. The Quarantine Advisory may be found here.
- If your student is required to quarantine for any reason, be it travel, exposure, or waiting for a test result, please contact your school’s principal tomorrow to make the necessary arrangements for instruction. Should you need to contact your school’s nurse to provide test results, contact information for all school health offices may be found here.
- Please be thoughtful and forthright when filling out the online daily health forms. I recognize that these are getting to be rote, but they remain critically important. If your student or you as a faculty member are experiencing any symptoms, please do not come to school or send your student to school.
- If you or your student tests positive for COVID-19, please contact Director of Health Services Tracey Barnett at 914-967-6100, ext. 1931, or via email at email@example.com. Please do not assume the Department of Health has notified the District; their delays remain considerable. As always, you are assured of complete confidentiality.
Please continue to make choices that protect yourself and your children, relatives, friends, and neighbors. Thank you for your commitment to the safety of our community and for your flexibility during these challenging times. I look forward to a bright 2021 for the RCSD community.
Eric Byrne, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools