Earlier Return to School Following Quarantine/Isolation

January 11, 2022

Dear KLSD Community,

In the last 24 hours, there has been significant communication from State health leaders, State elected officials, and most recently this afternoon from our County health officials regarding various COVID protocols. Please read on if you have a child who is currently isolating or quarantining.

In a memo to schools last night, the State DOH indicated changes to quarantine and isolation periods (which will allow quarantining/isolating students to return to school sooner, assuming they are asymptomatic), as well as changes to student eligibility for extra-curricular activities linked to student vaccination and booster status.  In the same memo, the State said that revised guidance will be issued shortly.

Late this afternoon, Westchester County Department of Health told schools that they will support the earlier return to schools for students and staff (following five days of isolation/quarantine, rather than ten). They are awaiting further guidance on other aspects of the State’s memo.

I’ve asked our administrators and nurses to use tomorrow to prioritize determining which students currently quarantining/isolating are eligible for return to school starting Thursday, January 13. I know many families are eager to have their children back in school (as are we) and I ask for your patience as we make sure we’re following the appropriate steps and taking the appropriate care and caution as we have throughout the pandemic.

Families whose children are eligible for an earlier return will hear from their school tomorrow with a revised timeline for return. Moving forward, when quarantine or isolation is necessary, it will be on this shorter timeframe.

Additionally, at a press conference earlier today, New York State Health Commissioner, Mary Bassett, said that the State would no longer require contact tracing by local departments of health. As yet, there has been no communication to schools about this change. We will await further guidance and keep you posted.

In case you missed yesterday’s news, Westchester County is now offering free rapid tests, boosters, and pediatric vaccinations at the County Center. You can sign up for appointments here.

While COVID and Omicron are still very much with us, the news above is cause for hope, and any news that brings more students back to school is welcome.

Please take care,

Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools