11-20-20 Orange Zone Update to Families and Staff
November 20, 2020
Dear Williamsville Central School District Families and Staff,
We know this week hasn’t been easy for our students, families, teachers, support staff, and administrators. We spent the majority of the week seeking clarification and additional guidance regarding Yellow, Orange, and Red Zone micro-cluster designations and have gone to great lengths to keep our schools as healthy and safe as possible. We are thankful for your continued cooperation and partnership in following the safety protocols in our buildings.
The micro-cluster designations, especially the Orange Zone and Red Zone, impact our school community in many ways. As a reminder, if you have any transition or instructional questions, please e-mail your child(ren)’s guidance counselor, teacher, or building principal. Our staff is ready and able to assist in any way we can.
Please know that if and when we are placed back into a Yellow Zone, we are prepared to meet the 20% bi-weekly testing requirements.
With the Orange Zone designation placed on our region on Thursday, we wanted to re-share information regarding the re-opening metrics, which are extremely difficult to meet. It’s important to remember that if placed in an Orange or Red Zone, schools are required to pivot to remote instruction until they meet the necessary testing requirements. At this time, we want to emphasize that it is highly improbable that we would have the capability to meet the testing requirements.
Orange Zone and Red Zone Testing Metrics for Re-Opening Schools
- All students, faculty, and staff must have a negative COVID-19 test result to attend schools in-person within 7 days of re-opening
- 25% of the in-person learning community must be tested on a weekly basis
- If the 25% testing sample generates 9 or more positive cases, or if for a sample size of more than 300 weekly tests achieves a positivity rate of 3% or higher, the school will be required to close
We do not want to rush re-opening and put our school community at risk, are mindful of the current rate of community spread of COVID-19, and a potential surge due to holiday gatherings and travel. Updated travel guidance from New York State can be viewed on our website here: NYS Department of Health Updated Travel Guidance.
In their update on Thursday, the Erie County Department of Health detailed how the 7-day rolling average for Erie County was 7%, which far exceeds the 3% and 4% thresholds for being placed in an Orange or Red Zone. Please continue to be proactive and help slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, social distancing, and following good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands.
As we pivot to remote learning, please also be sure to continue to fill out the Daily COVID-19 Questionnaire and attendance notification.
As always, we will communicate and share the most accurate and up-to-date information with you as it becomes available. We know how important it is to keep our community informed.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership.
Dr. John E. McKenna
Acting Superintendent of Schools