COVID-19 REOPENING INFORMATION FOR 2020-21

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COVID-19 SAFETY COORDINATOR
Mr. James Brennan
585-336-2993
james_brennan@westiron.monroe.edu

 
LINK: COVID Testing

LINK: Reopening Resources Documents/Sites


LINK: 2020-21 Reopening Plans by School

LINK: NYS COVID-19 'REPORT CARD'

LINK: Guidance on Athletics Restarting


RECENT UPDATES FROM WEST IRONDEQUOIT CSD
 April 9, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, April 5th, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported six new cases in our District: three students at Rogers Middle School and one student each at Irondequoit HS, Dake Jr. HS and Briarwood schools.

Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555. For Superintendent Updates, go to THIS PAGE. Our next communication is scheduled for Monday, April 12th.

April 5, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

COVID-19 UPDATE

Since our last communication on Thursday, April 1, the MCDPH has reported seven new cases in our District: Three students and one staff member at Irondequoit High School, one student at Dake Junior HS and two students at Rogers Middle School. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For COVID-related updates, visit our COVID-19 Information page. For previous Superintendent Updates, CLICK HERE.

Our next communication is scheduled for Friday, April 9th.

April 1, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Dear Families:

THURSDAY COVID-19 UPDATE
Since our last communication a week ago on Thursday, March 25th, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported eight new cases in our District:

  • 4 Irondequoit High School students
  • 2 Iroquois Middle School students
  • 1 staff member at IHS
  • 1 staff member who works at Brookview and Listwood schools

Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Our next communication is scheduled for Monday, April 5th. Here’s hoping you have a safe and restful remainder of Spring Recess!

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson first name signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

March 25, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

WATCH THE REPLAY: COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

We answered a lot of questions about the potential full reopening of schools in Tuesday’s “Community Connections” Zoom (video) webinar. If you missed it and want to watch the replay, it’s 90-plus minutes and available at THIS LINK.  A PDF of the slides is available at this link.

THURSDAY COVID-19 UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, March 22 , the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported nine new cases in our District: four students at IHS, two at Dake JHS, one at Rogers and one at Brookview. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

COVID-19 TESTING UPDATE

We have administered 1,516 rapid tests randomly to students/staff to monitor our schools. Including this morning’s results, we have had two positive cases since Jan. 14, 2021.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson first name signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools


March 22, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

Since our last communication on Thursday, March 18th, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported one new case in our District, a student at Irondequoit High School. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, visit our COVID-19 Information page. For previous Monday Reports, go to our new Superintendent Update page.  

Our next communication is scheduled for the Thursday, March 25th. 

 
March 18, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE & WEBINAR REMINDER

Dear Families:

THURSDAY COVID-19 UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, March 15th, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported two new cases in our District: one student each at Briarwood and Seneca schools. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

COVID-19 TESTING UPDATE

We have administered 1,341 rapid tests randomly to students/staff to monitor our schools. Including this morning’s results, we have had two positive cases since Jan. 14, 2021.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS WEBINAR NEXT TUESDAY

Our next “Community Connections” Zoom (video) webinar, a Town Hall-type meeting with parents/guardians, is 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, March 23. The topic: The potential move toward a full reopening. Please join me and a few other administrators for an interactive discussion. We will provide you with the link for that webinar in our Monday Report on March 22.


In partnership,

Aaron Johnson first name signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

 
March 15, 2021: COVID-19 CASES 

Since our last communication on Thursday, March 11, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported one new case in our District, an Iroquois Middle School staff member. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call (585) 753-5555. For all COVID-related updates, visit our COVID-19 Information page. Our next report will be Thursday, March 18.

March 11, 2021: COVID-19 CASES/TESTING UPDATE

Dear Families:

THURSDAY COVID-19 UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, March 8th, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported three new cases in our District: one student each at Dake Jr. High School, Colebrook School and Southlawn School.

Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page. Our next communication is scheduled for the Monday Report on March 15th. Have a great weekend.

COVID-19 TESTING UPDATE
We have administered 1,149 rapid tests randomly to students/staff to monitor our schools. Including this morning’s results, we have had two positive cases since Jan. 14, 2021. Our next communication is scheduled for Monday, March 15th.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson first name signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

 
March 4, 2021: COVID-19 CASES/TESTING UPDATE

Dear Families:

COVID-19 UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, March 1, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported five new cases in our District: Three students at Dake Junior High School, one student at Irondequoit High School and one IHS staff member.

Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

We have now surpassed 1,000 rapid tests administered randomly to students/staff to monitor our schools. Including this afternoon’s results, we have done 1,039 tests with only two positive cases since Jan. 14, 2021.

Our next report is scheduled for Monday, March 8.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson first name signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 

March 1, 2021: SUPERINTENDENT REPORT FOR MONDAY

Dear Families:

As we welcome in March and look forward to the warmer weather soon, I want to begin by again thanking you. Our children continue to progress, thanks to teamwork and the commitment we share in making sure we meet their needs. A special thanks go to our special educators today as we begin Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. We are proud of their work and the caring relationships they foster to ensure every child has the supports they need to achieve.

Today we are pivoting our Monday communication to become more than merely COVID-19 information. It includes pertinent districtwide updates. We will continue having a Thursday update, too. Four months left until graduation – they will go fast. Keeping you informed continues to be a priority, and this new style gives us one more tool to meet that goal. 

REOPENING TASK FORCES

Last week, we kickstarted two reopening task forces, much like the one operated over the summer. One will focus on a full reopening of our K-6 Elementary Schools and the other on 7-12 Secondary Schools. Under the direction of Assistant Superintendent for Instruction (ASI), Mrs. Chrissy Miga, our Directors have gathered a collection of staff, union representatives and parents to reimage the current COVID-19 school structures, starting with instruction.

We don't have any inside information, but know that at some point the guidance will change to allow schools to fully reopen in-person. That change could happen next fall or sooner, depending on the NYS Department of Health. The current requirements we are operating under were written in August with the biggest hurdle to a full reopening being the 6-foot physical distancing requirement. Through Dr. Zucker last week, we heard the state is considering a move to align NYSDOH guidance with that recently released by the CDC. A move like this will create newly defined zones that would allow “K-12 schools open for full in-person instruction [with] physical distancing of 6 feet or more to the greatest extent possible.” This will put the decision on schools and allow us to break 6-foot rule if other mitigating factors are in place.

The charge of our reopening task forces is to consider how we will stepdown our hybrid learning models to increase in-person learning when these parameters change. To be prepared, we'll make a plan that can be implemented starting this school year or next fall. You can be sure that our reopening of schools will be driven by the NYSDOH and CDC guidance/requirements and data. The safety of students and staff will remain our top priority. We’ll have to continue to be flexible thinkers who work collaboratively. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that decisions will be made with imperfect data and constantly changing requirements and it’s our job to do what’s best for West Irondequoit. 

DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLANNING

Attached is an outline of key components of our District’s Strategic Planning process, including a timeline of events. Two rapidly approaching pieces of the process are Perception Gathering and the Planning Council. Perception Gathering is a chance for constituents to share their perceptions and ideas about our District. I am working with our consultant, Lynne Erdle, to finalize a schedule for the Perception Gathering days that will include time(s) for everyone to participate as interested. Please watch for more information soon.

We're also working on enlisting members for a Planning Council. It will be a group of 25-30 people who will be charged with taking all the data and perceptions gathered and taking a dive deep into translating that information into a multi-year road map. The target for the due date to hand over the polished plan to the District is June 30, 2021. If you’re interested in serving on the Planning Council, please email me by this Friday (aaron_johnson@westiron.monroe.edu). Selections will be made to balance the group and may include those who respond and may also require me reaching out to specific people.

WELCOME NEW ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT FOR INSTRUCTION

Today is the first official day for Mrs. Chrissy Miga as our new Assistant Superintendent for Instruction (ASI). Welcome, Mrs. Miga! As ASI, she is responsible for leading K-12 curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development in the District. Having spent the bulk of her career in West Irondequoit, Chrissy understands the community and our schools. She brings with her a network of well-established relationships that will help move our work forward.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Since our last communication on Thursday, Feb. 25th, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported five new cases in our District. They are three Irondequoit High School students and two Dake Jr. High School students. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Our next report is scheduled for Thursday, March 4.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson first name signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Feb. 25, 2021: COVID-19 CASE & TESTING UPDATE  

Dear Families:

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, Feb. 22, the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported one case in our District, a student at Brookview School. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose more details or personally identifiable information. Questions? Call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Our next COVID-19 case report is scheduled for Monday, March 1.

SURVEY TESTING UPDATE

Since we resumed COVID-19 rapid testing of students and staff on Jan. 14, 2021 as a way to monitor our schools, we have administered 826 tests. There have been only two positive cases, one student and one staff member. These numbers reflect testing through this morning. We will continue testing at least through March 26, 2020 (the final day before spring break). Below is a chart that breaks down the results.

 
COVID graphic













Thank you,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D

Superintendent of Schools

Feb. 22, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Hello Families and Staff:

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

Since our last communication on Saturday, Feb. 20, the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported one case in our District, a student at Irondequoit High School. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Our next COVID-19 case report is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools 

Feb. 20, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Dear Families and Staff,

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported 14 new cases in our District since our last communication to you nine days ago on Thursday, Feb. 11:

  • Eight students and one staff member at Irondequoit High School
  • One student and one staff member at Brookview School
  • One student and one staff member at Iroquois Middle School
  • One staff member at Southlawn School

Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you do have questions about contact tracing or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit our COVID-19 Information page. I hope that you have had a fun and safe Winter Recess!

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools 

Feb. 16, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE  

Please click THIS LINK to see a COVID-19 update letter/release from Superintendent, Aaron Johnson, regarding Irondequoit High School Athletics.
 
Feb. 11, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE  
Dear Families:

Visiting schools and chatting with people, I keep hearing how surprised and pleased everyone is about our reopening success. Given the circumstances, the safety and instructional rigor of our programming is 100% a reflection of you. Together, we continue to stand resolute in our commitment to our children and their success.

With the restart of higher-risk winter sports and sharp decrease in community COVID-19 positivity rates, many people are asking about a return to full in-person instruction. Having all students back full-time is an aspirational goal we all share – when and if it can happen safely. We are working with local and state officials to advocate for consideration if specific safety criteria are met. Staff must gain equitable access to vaccinations. School and community positivity rates must remain low or negligible. We must monitor transmission in schools to ensure that spread does not happen here. With these factors in place, in addition to the research-based safety precautions like masking and sanitization, I do believe that given time, "opening the valve" in schools can happen. When it does, safety will continue to be our priority.

2021-22 SCHOOL BUDGET

The Board of Education and District began formally planning for next year's school budget in January with our regular Budget Workshop. We discussed the preliminary Tax Cap, which will be much less than 2% and less than last year. Working from the proposed 2021-22 Executive Budget, we remain guarded on State Aid projections as their proposed structure has changed along with flow through federal CARES Act monies included. This ambiguity, along with a proposed freeze in Foundation Aid (the primary categorical State Aid component), paints a bleak financial forecast for schools next year. The Board and District are committed to sustaining a comprehensive, supportive and safe learning environment for students and staff. We will be persistent in ensuring the efficient and well-planned use of financial resources. Please watch our website and social media for more information regarding the 2021-22 budget planning process.

NEW DISTRICT RECEPTIONIST

Mrs. Adrinne Raines has been hired as the new Receptionist at District Office. She is married and the mother of three children, including two IHS students. Mrs. Raines has worked as an Attendance Clerk at Dake Junior High School the past two years. She is also a PTSA building representative. Mrs. Raines replaces Mrs. Susan Bottazzo, our longtime receptionist who served the District for 28 years. Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Raines.

ATHLETICS REGISTRATION OPEN FOR CHEERLEADING, FOOTBALL, VOLLEYBALL

Our full restart of winter athletics included season openers this week for boys/girls basketball, ice hockey and wrestling is scheduled for Saturday. Our FamilyID registration is also now open (CLICK HERE) for the “Fall II” season, which includes cheerleading, football and volleyball. That season is scheduled to start March 1.

MUSIC UPDATE

An email was sent to families on Wednesday, February 10 regarding evolving plans for the music program, including an invitation to a Zoom webinar with Mr. Zugelder on Tuesday, February 23 at 6 p.m. to learn more. Look for a reminder email on Monday, February 22.

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, Feb. 8, the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported 3 new cases in our District:

  • One student at Listwood School
  • One student at Dake Jr. High School
  • One staff member at Rogers Middle School

The MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that these were the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. Questions? Call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

Our district has issued a total of 706 COVID-19 tests to students and staff in our schools since Jan. 14, 2021. This week there were 2 positive cases, which were isolated and reported to MCDPH.

For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page. Our next COVID-19 case report is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22. Thank you again for everything you’ve done to support a safe learning environment. Wishing you the best for a well-deserved February break.

In partnership,
Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Feb. 8, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE 
Dear Families:

Since our last communication with you on Thursday, Feb. 5 there have been no new reports of COVID-19 cases in our District.

Feb. 5, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE 

Dear Families and Staff:

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, Feb. 1, the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported two new cases in our District, both students at Iroquois Middle School.

The MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that these were the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Our next COVID-19 case report is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 8.

Thank you,

Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

 Feb. 1, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE

Hello Families:

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE
Since our last communication on Thursday, Jan. 28, the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported two new cases in our District:

•    One student at Rogers Middle School
•    One staff member at Irondequoit High School

The MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that these were the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Our next COVID-19 case report is scheduled for Thursday.

Thank you,

Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Jan. 28, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE

Dear Staff:

In addition to our usual update, I wanted to share some additional information about athletics, extra-curricular activities and COVID-19 testing.

WINTER ATHLETICS

Plans are underway to safely reopen more winter Athletics next Monday and the new “Fall II” season (football, volleyball, cheerleading) in March. Preparation has been ongoing since our successful fall season and we awaited a decision from Gov. Cuomo. Friday, that news came, pending approval from the Monroe County Department of Public Health (see release on approval). Thanks to the work of our athletic department, nurses and support staff, we are almost ready. For updates, go to our Athletics website.

Earlier this week, MCDPH Commissioner, Dr. Mendoza, informed superintendents and athletic directors of his approval. Given the decreasing community infection rates, negligible infection rates in county schools, and the sound health and safety precautions established in our schools, all sports may resume under New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and NYSDOH guidelines. Tonight at 6:30, we are hosting a special Zoom (video) Athletics webinar (watch the replay) to share more about the sport-specific structures and precautions planned to keep our children and staff healthy and safe. IHS and Dake families received a link to that on Wednesday. As we lay these plans, we will continue to monitor the latest expert guidance from state and local health officials to make adjustments and remain alert and flexible. They have been foundational in sustaining our schools' safety.

OTHER EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

There is no crystal ball, but we are optimistic that this is a sign of more to come for other extra-curricular activities such as Visual and Performing Arts. If we deem it is safe for one, deep consideration for the others must be given as a matter of equity. We will continue to advocate for this with public health officials. As the COVID-19 vaccination becomes more prevalent and if infection rates remain low, we also hope government officials and public health experts are considering additional measures to reopening schools. But, only if the data supports that a full reopening is safe.

So, stay the course and practice what’s proven. Keep those masks on, stay socially distanced as needed, practice good hand hygiene and monitor your symptoms daily. Your persistence is keeping our positivity rates extremely low and safeguarding the spread from creeping into our schools. We will watch state and local guidance closely and remain ready to react if and when the state directs a change.

COVID-19 TESTING

Since Jan. 14, 2021 we have administered 458 rapid COVID tests to students and staff. It has produced zero positive results. Although Gov. Cuomo has lifted zone restrictions, we plan to continue to test 5% of our students/staff weekly through late February and into March. We will do this as a way to continue to self-monitor safety in our schools.

COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

Since Monday’s communication, the MCDPH reported three new cases in our District, one student at Irondequoit High School, one at Dake Junior High School and one at Rogers Middle School.

The MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that these cases were the result of community spread with no close contacts in school. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

In partnership,

 Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D

Superintendent of Schools

 
Jan. 25, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE  

Families,

We have two other important updates today in addition to our daily COVID-19 information.

JOIN US TUESDAY NIGHT – COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

"Community Connections" is a new Zoom video webinar series so we can keep families informed on key initiatives in our District. Please join myself and a few other WICSD administrators at 6:30 PM tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/26) to discuss our first topic: The District's efforts toward Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. You will have time to ask us questions during the session.

  • Please check your email for information on how to view the webinar

IHS ATHLETICS CAN ‘UN-PAUSE’

On Friday, Gov. Cuomo gave the OK for winter sports currently on pause to start Monday, Feb. 1 as long as they adhere to safety protocols (read the guidance) and pending the approval of the Monroe County Department of Public Health. Ms. Kim Schon, our Director of Health, Phys. Ed. & Athletics, is working with league/Section V officials on details that we will soon communicate. In fact, we will have an Athletics Zoom video webinar at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (link to come). We plan to open  FamilyID registration for the paused winter sports soon. The state also cleared the way for football, lacrosse and volleyball to compete later this year. Again, when we have more details, we will share them. I am confident our coaches and support staff will handle this “un-pause” with the same attention to safety details that we’ve shown since September.

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

Since Thursday’s communication, the MCDPH reported seven new cases in our District:

  • Two students at Irondequoit High School
  •  Two students at Dake Jr. High School
  •  Two students at Rogers Middle School
  •  One staff member at IHS

The MCDPH’s contact tracing found that these were the result of community spread with no close contacts in school. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. Questions? Call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

In partnership,,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools 

Jan. 21, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE   

Dear Families,

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The Monroe County Department of Public Health reported two new positive cases in our District since our last communication on Tuesday. They are an Irondequoit High School student and an Iroquois Middle School student.

MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that both cases were the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Click the link to learn more about the definition of “close contacts” by MCDPH. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about this case. If you have questions about contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH  COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit ourCOVID-19 Information page.

NEW COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Just a reminder: Our new "Community Connections" Zoom video webinar series starts next week. Please join myself and a few other key WICSD leaders at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, Jan. 26 to discuss our first topic: The District's efforts toward Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. We will email parents/guardians a link next week to join the conversation! 

In partnership,,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Jan. 19, 2021: COVID-19 UPDATE  

Dear Families,

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

Today the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported six new positive cases in our District:

  • Two students at Irondequoit High School
  • One student and one staff member at Dake Junior High School
  • One student at Southlawn School
  • One student at Iroquois Middle School

MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that these cases were the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

In partnership,,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
Jan. 15, 2021: COVID-19 TESTING & CASE UPDATE   
Dear Families,

I wanted to provide a few updates as we head into the long weekend that will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. Our resumption of voluntary COVID-19 rapid testing this week yielded ZERO positive results out of 151 students and staff tested. That’s great news. If your child was tested you should have received an email from their principal. We will continue testing on Tuesday.

We also will modify our communications on COVID-19 cases starting next week. Instead of daily updates, we will switch to sending notifications on Mondays and Thursdays only. At this point, we do not want to burden families with so many emails. 

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

Today the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported ZERO new positive cases in our District. It has been quite a while since that happened and more good news. My hope: We all continue to take the necessary steps, ones we have learned over 10 months, to keep us all safe. If you do have questions about contact tracing or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

Remember, for all COVID-related updates/resources, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Jan. 14, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Families and Staff,

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

Today the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported one new positive case in our District, a staff member at Rogers Middle School.

MCDPH’s contact tracing found that this case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Click the link to learn more about the definition of “close contacts” by MCDPH. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about this case. If you have questions about contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Jan. 13, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Families and Staff,

You will see our daily COVID-19 case report below. Here’s a final reminder: We will resume voluntary COVID-19 rapid testing on Thursday. We are doing this to be proactive and self-assess the safety of our schools. You can read more details about this in our communication on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Only students with consent will be tested. After 5 p.m. today, any changes to consent – whether you have given it prior or wish to rescind it – must be made by contacting your child’s principal. Thank you once again for understanding the importance of this process for your child, family and the community.

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The  MCDPH today reported three new positive cases in our District:

  • Two students at Irondequoit High School (one remote learner)
  •  One student at Dake Junior High School

MCDPH’s contact tracing found that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Click the link to understand how the MCDPH defines “close contacts.” Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about these, contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Sincerely,
New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

 
Jan. 12, 2021: TESTING DETAILS & COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

Hello Families and Staff,

We have finalized plans for our second round of random COVID-19 testing of students and staff who have given consent. It will begin Thursday and continue daily. Our goal: Test 10% of our students/staff over the next two weeks and 20% over the next month. That aligns with the latest state COVID-19 Micro-Cluster Strategy for schools located in an Orange Zone (we are still a Yellow Zone).

We resume testing as a proactive measure and to self-monitor the safety of our schools. We are not under any state mandate to do so. This COVID-19 rapid test is the shallow, nasal swab (Abbott BinaxNOW) that we also used in November (watch the video). Staff who will administer tests to students have been trained to do so and will follow all safety and privacy protocols, including PPE, sanitizing and privacy screens.

CONSENT

Students who have not given consent will NOT be tested. If you did not consent prior to our first round of testing and now wish to so, click THIS LINK and submit the form (one for each child) by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Changes to consent after that must be made by contacting your child’s principal (school directory).

If you gave consent in November, it is not necessary to do it again (it covers the 2020-21 school year). However, if you want to void prior consent to remove your child(ren) from the random selection, contact their principal ASAP. Testing/consent does not apply to full-remote students.

CAN A STUDENT BE TESTED AGAIN?

Yes. If your child was tested in November, it’s possible he/she may be selected again. This is a random selection. We also will target non-instructional times for student testing as much as possible to minimize classroom disruptions.

NOTIFICATIONS

Parents/guardians will not be notified prior to your child being tested unless you contact their building principal and ask to be present. Once a student has been tested, families will receive an email later that day to indicate its completion. If a student/staff member tests positive, protocols will be followed to isolate the individual in the building’s COVID isolation room, parents/guardians will be informed and asked to pick up their child. Any positive tests will be reported to the Monroe County Department of Public Health to start contact tracing. We ask that you follow-up with your own healthcare provider.

I know it’s a lot to unpack again, but we are taking these steps to help our community stay healthy and stop the spread while we await official guidance on vaccinations. Thank you for all that you’re doing. We need it and sincerely appreciate the partnership!

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The MCDPH today reported three new positive cases in our District:

  • One student at Iroquois Middle School
  • One student at Listwood School
  • One staff member at Irondequoit High School

MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about these, contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit the COVID-19 Information page.

Sincerely,
New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 

Jan. 11, 2021: TESTING RESUMES THURSDAY; COVID-19 UPDATE   

Greetings Families,

This Thursday, we will resume random COVID-19 rapid testing of students and staff.

Even though we remain classified by the state as a Yellow Zone, the Monroe County Department of Public Health offered an opportunity for schools to voluntarily resume testing and we will test 5% of consenting students and staff each day. This is the shallow, non-invasive nasal swab test (Abbott BinaxNOW) and testing will occur in a fashion similar to November. Expect more detailed information on Tuesday. As we shared on Friday:

If you gave consent to test your child in November, you do not need to again. Consent carries over for the rest of the 2020-21 school year.

  • If you did NOT consent prior and want to provide that now, we’ll send a link to a form on Tuesday.
  • If you want to void consent given in November, contact your child’s building principal ASAP.
  • Testing/consent does not apply to students in our Full Remote Instruction model.

Students without consent will NOT be tested. If your child was tested in November, it is possible he/she may be selected again because this is a random selection. Thank you again for your cooperation.

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The MCDPH today reported 12 new positive cases in our District:

  • Seven students at Irondequoit High School
  • Two staff members at IHS
  • One staff member at Rogers Middle School
  • One student at Listwood School
  • One student at Briarwood School

MCDPH’s contact tracing found that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about these, contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit the COVID-19 Information page at our website.

Sincerely,

New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Jan. 8, 2021: MORE TESTING AHEAD & COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Dear Families and Staff,

Schools are among the safest places in our community. We learned that through data, including COVID-19 testing in our own schools and others locally. We also trust the analysis of experts in the medical field, led locally by the Monroe County Department of Public Health.

As a way to monitor that and as a proactive step, we will soon resume voluntary COVID-19 testing for a portion of our students/staff. This will be the same shallow, non-invasive nasal swab test (Abbott BinaxNOW) as in November that resulted in no positive results (769 tested) in our District. We are still finalizing logistics and will share more next week, but parents/guardians should know:

  • If you gave consent to test your child in November, you do not need to again. Consent carries over for the rest of the 2020-21 school year.
  • If you did NOT consent in November and want to provide that this time, we’ll send a link to a form next week to do so.
  • If you want to void consent given in November, please contact your child’s building principal ASAP.

Just like November, students without consent will NOT be tested. This will be another random selection of students, so if your child was tested in November, it is possible he/she may be called on again. We will provide more details on that next week. We truly appreciate your partnership in keeping our school community and the community at-large safe.

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The MCDPH today reported two new positive cases in our District, one staff member at Iroquois Middle School and one staff member at Seneca elementary.

MCDPH’s contact tracing found that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about these, contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit the COVID-19 Information page at the District website.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Jan. 7, 2021: 'UNITED WE STAND' & COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Dear Families and Staff,

At a time when compassion and kindness should be our priority, our nation was jolted again Wednesday. Like so many others, I could not believe what I saw happening in Washington, D.C. To borrow words we’ve all read and heard often over the past 24 hours, the images were both shocking, disturbing and something I hope we will never see again. They cannot be ignored. So, as educators, we did what we always do; we treated this significant event as a moment for reflection and learning. I asked Ms. Kim Cristal, our K-12 Curriculum Supervisor of Social Studies, to provide us with her perspective on just that. Please read it below under the title, “United We Stand.”

UNITED WE STAND

“Like many communities across the country, West Irondequoit students came to school today confident that our district remains a safe place for all students to process the world around them, express their own thoughts, ask hard questions, and face uncomfortable truths. In our classrooms, we supported one another by listening and learning with our teachers, classmates, and peers. This proves our core value as a community that during unsettling events – divisive, destructive or otherwise – our diversity is a source of strength, and we will continue to forge ahead during unprecedented times. As we strive to do every day, we will continue to problem-solve and grow together, leaning on one another.” 

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The MCDPH today reported five new positive cases in our District:

  • One Dake Junior High School student
  • Two students and one staff member at Irondequoit HS
  • One Briarwood student
  • One staff member at Rogers Middle School

MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about these, contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit the COVID-19 Information pageat the District website.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Jan. 6, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Dear Families and Staff,

In addition to our daily COVID-19 update, please take a minute to read new and important guidance from the Monroe County Department of Public Health, titled “What Should I Do While Waiting For A Contact Tracer To Call?" It provides key definitions for isolation/quarantining and close contact. A significant change to earlier COVID-19 guidance is included; beginning this week, self-imposed or MCDPH-directed isolations and quarantines are now 10 days. You can read it on our website.

In a recent discussion with Dr. Michael Mendoza, the Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health stressed an important reminder that I shared with our staff today. Please remain vigilant and honest in assessing and reporting COVID-like symptoms. It is of the utmost importance that students and staff stay home and quarantine if sick or if a household member loses their sense of taste/smell or has a fever of 100 F or more.

Thank you for your partnership.

Jan. 6, 2021 COVID-19 UPDATE

The MCDPH today reported two new positive cases in our District, an Irondequoit High School student and a staff member at Southlawn School. MCDPH’s contact tracing found that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about these, contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit the COVID-19 Information page at the District website.

Sincerely,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Jan. 5, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE   

Dear Families & Staff, 

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The Monroe County Department of Public Health has confirmed four new cases today in our District:

  • One student at Iroquois Middle School
  • One student at Southlawn School
  • Two staff members at Rogers Middle School

MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about these cases, contact tracing and/or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/resources, visit the COVID-19 Information page at the District website.

In partnership,

 New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Jan. 4, 2021: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Dear Families & Staff, 

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The Monroe County Department of Public Health has confirmed 11 new cases in our District since our last communication on Thursday, December 31st:

Dec. 31st (PM) – January 3rd

  • Two students at Irondequoit High School
  • Two staff members at Dake Jr. High School
  • Two students at Listwood elementary
  • One student at Iroquois Middle School

Monday, January 4th

  • One staff member and one student at IHS
  • One student at Iroquois MS
  • One student at Seneca elementary

MCDPH’s contact tracing has found that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about them, contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, click THIS LINK.

In partnership,

 New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
Dec. 31, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Greetings Families,

Below is a brief update of the positive COVID-19 cases reported by the Monroe County Department of Public Health since our last correspondence on Monday. I hope you are enjoying a fulfilling holiday recess and that everyone has a Happy New Year’s Eve tonight!

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The MCDPH has confirmed the following cases since our last communication. They are:

Dec. 28 (PM) – Dec. 31 (AM)

  • One staff member at Rogers Middle School
  • One student at Dake Junior High School
  • One student at Irondequoit HS
  • Two District-wide staff members

MCDPH’s contact tracing found that these cases were the result of community spread with no close contacts in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about any cases. If you have questions about these cases, contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates/information, click THIS LINK.

Thank you,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Dec. 28, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Dear Families,

Happy Holidays and I hope everyone is enjoying the school break. Below are the new COVID-19 positive cases reported by the Monroe County Public Health Department from 12/24 - 12/28. Thank you and remember, our next COVID-19 update will be sent on Thursday, 12/31.

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The MCDPH of Public Health confirmed the following cases since our last communication. They are:

12/24

  • One IHS student (hybrid)
  • Two Dake Jr. HS students (both remote)
  • Two Rogers MS students (both hybrid)

12/26

  • Two IHS students (both hybrid)

 12/27

  • One IHS student (hybrid)
  • One Iroquois MS student (remote)

MCDPH’s contact tracing determined these cases were the result of community spread with no close contacts in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about any cases. If you have questions about these cases, contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates/information, click THIS LINK.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools 

Dec. 23, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Dear Families & Staff, 


COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The Monroe County Department of Public Health has confirmed five new cases in our District:

  • Two students at Irondequoit High School
  • One student at Rogers Middle School
  • One student at Colebrook School
  • One staff member at Seneca School

MCDPH’s contact tracing has found that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about them, contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, click THIS LINK.

Please note that we plan to send only two COVID-19 updates next week: Monday, Dec. 28 and Thursday, Dec. 31st next week. Have a safe and happy Holiday Recess!

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools 

Dec. 21, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Dear Families & Staff,
 

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The Monroe County Department of Public Health has confirmed seven new cases in our District: 

  • One student at Irondequoit High School
  • Two students at Dake Junior High School
  • One student and one staff member at Rogers Middle School
  • One student at Seneca School
  • One staff member who works in multiple elementary buildings

MCDPH’s contact tracing has found that each case was the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about them, contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, click THIS LINK.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools 

Dec. 18, 2020: IMPORTANT 'RETURN TO PLAY' GUIDANCE


Dear Families, 

 

Happy Holidays! We have reopened schools and sustained our learning thanks to a shared effort. In 2016, colleague Anthony Lipani combined our Eagle logo with the term "One Heartbeat." This phrase captures the spirit of community and commitment to each other in West Irondequoit. We work together through the ups and downs and remain focused on our purpose, which is our children. As we near Holiday Recess, I am most thankful for the opportunity for my family to be a part of that heartbeat. 

 

SUGGESTED GUIDANCE – RETURN TO PLAY/RETURN TO PHYSICAL EDUCATION

During a School and Community Health Care forum on Monday, Dec. 14th, interim guidance published by the University of Rochester Pediatric Workgroup was introduced to schools. It reflects growing concerns about the effects of moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms on the heart. Please click THIS LINK to read more of these critical resources provided by the U of R.

 

Please note the introductory line: "...for release to participate in physical education, sports and moderate to vigorous play for pediatric patients." In consultation with our medical advisors and out of an abundance of caution, beginning January 4th, 2021 any student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to submit an “Assessment/Release for Return to Play” form. It must be completed by their primary care physician prior to resuming play and/or physical education class. Those students may return to school upon their release from isolation by the Monroe County Department of Public Health, but they will remain out of physical education, recess and athletics until after the primary care physician has completed and verified this evaluation. The Assessment/Release for Return to Play form is also at THIS LINK, if you need to print it.


We understand that families may have different levels of access to health care, so if you have concerns about that or any other supports related to this latest guidance, please contact your building principal and social worker to identify potential next steps.

 

NEW COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS ZOOM WEBINARS

An essential part of "One Heartbeat" is ensuring our community is engaged and well-informed. To support that, we are creating a new opportunity for dialogue. In January, we will begin hosting bi-monthly Zoom video webinars on the fourth Tuesday of the month. We are calling them “Community Connections" to reflect the intent. These sessions start at 6:30 p.m. We will email you Zoom links in advance. The dates:

  • January 26 (Topic: equity, diversity and inclusion)
  • March 23 (Topic: health and safety)
  • May 25 (Topic: 2020-21 school year)

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE

The MCDPH confirmed two new cases today in our District, both Dake Junior High School students. MCDPH’s contact tracing determined each was the result of community spread with no close contacts in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about any cases. If you have questions about them, contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates/information, click THIS LINK.

Wishing you and your family the very best for an enjoyable and safe holiday recess!

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Dec. 17, 2020: COVID-19 UPDATE/HOLIDAY MEALS 

Dear Families & Staff:

DAILY COVID-19 Report

The Monroe County Dept. of Public Health confirmed today five new cases across our District:

  • Three students at Rogers Middle School
  •  One staff member at Rogers
  •  One staff member who works district-wide

MCDPH’s contact tracing found that these cases were the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about these case or others or about contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov. For all COVID-related updates/information, visit our COVID-19 Information Page at THIS LINK.

FREE MEALS DURING BREAK

The East Irondequoit CSD is welcoming families from our district for its free meal program the week of Dec. 28th over holiday recess, but you must pre-order by tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 18).

Thank you,
New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Dec. 16, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Dear Families and Staff:

DAILY COVID-19 Report

The Monroe County Department of Public Health confirmed today one new case in our District, a staff member at Rogers Middle School. MCDPH’s contact tracing determined that this case was the result of community spread with no close contacts in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about this case or others or about contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, visit our COVID-19 Information Page at THIS LINK.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Dec. 15, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Dear Families:

DAILY COVID-19 Report

The Monroe County Dept. of Public Health confirmed today four new cases across our District:

  • One student at Irondequoit High School
  • One student at Dake Junior High School
  • Two students at Rogers Middle School

MCDPH’s contact tracing found that these cases were the result of community spread with no close contacts happening in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about this case or others or about contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, visit our COVID-19 Information Page at THIS LINK.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Dec. 14, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Greetings,

Today, Gov. Cuomo announced updates to the NYS Micro-Cluster Strategy that did not impact West Irondequoit. We remain a Yellow Zone. As a reminder, as a Yellow Zone we were required to test 20% of our in-person students and staff and if the results were lower than the current regional positivity rate at the time, we were not required to test again. We completed our tests prior to Thanksgiving with zero positive results. As of now, we are not required to continue testing our in-person students and staff. We'll continue to monitor the Governor's guidance this week. If our district is elevated to an Orange Zone we will be required to commence testing within a few days. The latest NYS Dept. of Health guidance on Orange and Red zones can be found HERE.

DAILY COVID-19 Report

The Monroe County Dept. of Public Health confirmed today three new cases across our District:

  • Two students at Irondequoit High School
  • One student at Dake Junior High School

MCDPH’s contact tracing determined these cases to be the result of community spread with no close contacts made in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about these or any cases. If you have questions about this case or others or about contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, visit our COVID-19 Information Page at THIS LINK.

In partnership,

New Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Dec. 11, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

DAILY COVID-19 Report

The Monroe County Department of Public Health confirmed today three new cases in our District, a staff member at Rogers Middle School and one student at Iroquois Middle School and one student at Irondequoit High School. Contact tracing has been completed by MCDPH and found these to be the result of community spread with no close contacts made in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about this or any other cases.

If you have questions about this case or others or about contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, visit our COVID-19 Information Page at THIS LINK.

In partnership,

AJ

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Dec. 10, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Dear Families and Staff,

DAILY COVID-19 Report

The Monroe County Department of Public Health confirmed today one new case in our District, a Dake Junior High School student. Contact tracing has been completed by MCDPH and found this to be the result of community spread with no close contacts made in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about this or any other cases.

If you have questions about this case or others or about contact tracing and quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates, visit our COVID-19 Information Page at THIS LINK.

In partnership,

AJ

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 

Dec. 9, 2020: COVID-19 UPDATE   

Dear Families and Staff,

I hope this midweek communication finds you well and that reverting to daily COVID-19 updates helps. I promise to keep them concise. The decision to increase our communication again offers an opportunity to talk more about why we see an uptick in reported school cases. It's simple math. We expected that as our community's positivity rate rapidly increased over the past month, we would also see an increased number of student and staff cases reported by the Monroe County Department of Public Health. Thanks to the collaboration between the MCDPH and our staff, this has not impacted our schools' safety. We continue to swiftly work through the contact tracing process together to identify close contacts and quarantine people as needed. These quarantines are mostly family members and contacts made through the small community and household gatherings. With consistent safety precautions like regular masking and physical distancing, we continue to safeguard our children and staff against school spread. I cannot praise our children and staff enough for sticking with it. Their hard work and determination are the reason why we remain in session.

You may have noticed that a local school district recently had to transition all students to a fully remote model due to staffing challenges. That is something every school is managing, including us. Our staff, building principals, and human resources office have been like superheroes brainstorming to find creative solutions to cover staff absences. To do this, we've had to take an "all-hands-on-deck" mentality with people jumping in sometimes at a moment's notice to cover for colleagues. This is becoming increasingly difficult and a statewide staffing shortage mixed with the sharp increase in the positivity rate is quickly exhausting our options. I can't define a specific bar when we would have to make a similar decision, but we are tracking this closely. We may find ourselves at a point where we don't have enough available staff, even with all our creativity and flexibility. Please know, we will give you as much advanced warning as possible and are committed to maintaining our momentum to the best of our ability. 

DAILY COVID-19 Report

The MCDPH has confirmed one new case today in our District, a student at Seneca elementary who has not been in attendance since November 24th. The MCDPH’s contact tracing found this to be the result of community spread with no close contacts made in school. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions about these cases, contact tracing or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, visit our COVID-19 Information Page at THIS LINK.

In partnership,

AJ
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Dec. 8, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Dear Families and Staff:

COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

The Monroe County Department of Public Health has confirmed two new cases in our District, one student at Irondequoit High School and one student at Iroquois Middle School. The MCDPH’s contact tracing for these cases determined them to be the result of community spread with no close contacts made in school.

Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have any questions about these cases, contact tracing or quarantining, call the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

For all COVID-related updates/information, visit our COVID-19 Information Page at THIS LINK.

Thank you,

AJ

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Dec. 7, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE  

Dear Families and Staff,

COVID-19 REPORT

Since our last email on Friday, we received confirmation from the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) about eight new COVID-19 cases who are now in isolation. Those include one student at Colebrook Elementary, a staff member at Listwood/Southlawn elementary schools, three students at Rogers Middle School, one student at Iroquois Middle School, and one student and one staff member at Dake Junior High School. MCDPH’s contact tracing determined all cases as community spread transmission with no close contacts at school. Any individuals who may have had contact with these people outside of school have been contacted and are now in quarantine. If you have any questions about these cases or other items related to COVID-19, please contact the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555.

Sincerely,

AJ

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Dec. 4, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

COVID-19 CASE UPDATES

Due to the recent uptick of positive COVID-19 cases in our schools that mirrors the trend in Monroe County, we have decided to return to regular updates from our district rather than just weekly. The case load will dictate frequency; we do not want to overwhelm families with emails, but it is important to be aware.

NEW CASES

Since Superintendent Aaron Johnson’s video update Wednesday, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has confirmed six new cases across our District. The students who tested positive attend Southlawn Elementary (2 cases), Brookview Elementary (1), Colebrook Elementary (1) and Rogers Middle School (1); an Irondequoit HS staff member also has tested positive.

The MCDPH’s contact tracing found each case to be a result of community spread with no close contacts made in school. Per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have any questions about these cases, contact tracing or quarantining, contact the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555 or COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

LEARNING MODEL SWITCH DEADLINE

Just a reminder for families that 3 PM Dec. 21, 2020 is the deadline to switch your child’s learning model. These changes will go into effect at the start of the 3rd marking period and will remain in place for the remainder of the school year. Please use the links to change forms we emailed directly to you. Questions for grades K-6? Email K-6 Director of Instruction, Mrs. Chrissy Miga (christina_miga@westiron.monroe.edu). Questions for grades 7-12? Email 7-12 Director of Instruction, Mrs. Karen Finter (karen_finter@westiron.monroe.edu).

 
Dec. 2, 2020: WEEKLY COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Superintendent, Aaron Johnson, details our weekly COVID-19 cases update in the video below. Please note this correction: The school-by-school graphic should indicate that a Seneca Elementary staff member (not student) tested positive.
 
Nov. 24, 2020: WEEKLY COVID-19 CASE UPDATE
 

Dear Families and Staff,

Weekly COVID-19 Report

This past week the Monroe County Department of Public Health confirmed 17 new COVID-19 positive student cases across our District. These students attend Southlawn Elementary (2 students), Rogers Middle School (4), Dake Jr. High School (2), IHS (3), and there were six fully remote students. The MCDPH has completed contact tracing and found each case to be a result of community spread with no close contacts made in school. At this time, individuals have been contacted by the MCDPH and provided direction to quarantine if they had close contact with these individuals outside of school.

If you have any questions about these cases or other items related to COVID-19, please contact the MCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (585) 753-5555.

Town of Irondequoit Rapid Testing- CORRECTION

One correction from my communication on Monday, 11/23. At this time, the Town of Irondequoit has not finalized the date and times for drive-thru testing. They anticipate the tests to be available sometime next week. Please watch their Facebook  page and Twitter for more information. Community testing will provides our town with a more representative snapshot of our positivity rate.

Continue the Fight

According to the NYS Forward COVID-19 School Report Card, we have had the following cases:

Link to chart

Notice that for the entire year, 41 total students have tested positive (in-person and remote), 20 in the last two weeks and 14 of those this past week as of 11/23 (excluding three additional cases reported today). We can see the post-Halloween spike. Heading into Thanksgiving break, we have more control over our gatherings than we did at Halloween because they’re mostly in our homes rather than spread out across the community. I’m very pleased to hear the extra care and precautions reflected in your plans. I can tell that people are giving deep consideration into how they can their keep loved ones safe. 

With test results to back it up, we know our schools are the safest place outside of your home for your children and we are committed to fighting for in-person learning to remain an option. We look forward to your ongoing partnership.

Wishing you all the best for a happy and safe holiday week and thank you again for your trust and support in our schools.

Sincerely,

 AJ

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D

Superintendent of Schools 

Nov. 23, 2020: ORANGE ZONE UPDATE

Dear Families and Staff,

Monday’s Announcement

Governor Cuomo announced today, as it relates to his Micro-Cluster Strategy, that parts of Monroe County are being elevated to an Orange Zone status. That includes portions of Irondequoit but for now is limited to the 14609 and 14621 zip codes. Town Supervisor Seeley has been in direct communication with the Governor’s office and they have said that if our District’s zip code of 14617 continues on its current trajectory, West Irondequoit could be next. Friends, we have the ability to flatten the curve in our school community and keep our houses of worship, businesses and most importantly schools open. We have done a great job of keeping school safe so far. We know this because we had zero positive cases out of the nearly 800 people tested last week. Please, remember the following:

  • Limit social gatherings
  • Wear a mask over the nose and mouth around people outside of our immediate household
  • Regularly sanitize our hands

The Town of Irondequoit is planning to offer free drive-thru testing this weekend (CORRECTION: This may happen soon but not this weekend). Whether it’s there, through your health care provider, or a local clinic, having your family tested will help to drive down our numbers. Just like last week’s testing in our schools, which yielded zero positive cases, you can drive up the denominator in our zip code’s 7-day positivity rate by adding more negative tests. For the sake of our children, please, consider having a COVID-19 rapid test if offered and being cautious while interacting with people outside of your home during this holiday season.

Orange Zone Overview

We dodged one today but must keep our eyes on the criteria for becoming an orange zone. To help, here is a quick review of the ORANGE ZONE classification regarding schools:

Ø  Zip Code has a 7-day rolling average positivity rate above 4% for 10 consecutive days

  • Schools:
    • Must remain closed for at least 4 calendar days after the zone designation announcement and all learning will happen remotely
    • All faculty, staff, and students must receive a negative COVID-19 test before returning to in-person instruction
      • Specimen collection must be after the date the zone was established
    • Once open, schools must test a unique group of 25% of their in-person students and staff each week. If testing occurs through the fifth week, schools will loop back to test the first 25%.

Reopening under an Orange Zone

If our zip code is elevated to Orange, all classes grades K-12 will be limited to only full-remote learning starting the day after the announcement. Depending on the timing and our ability to offer onsite testing, we will do our best to reopen schools on the fifth day. To do this, we will need the vast majority of our in-person student population to participate in testing. If not, all students will fall into full-remote learning. Here is a breakdown of the two scenarios: 

  1. 95-100% In-person students participate in testing
  1. We have analyzed our capacity to add more remote learning to our current classes and have very limited availability, about 3-7 students per grade in K-6. For us to offer both a hybrid and remote learning model under the Orange Zone guidelines, the majority (95-100%) of current in-person students must participate in testing. If a current in-person student does participate in testing but tests positive, they will not be added to the 100% remote classes. Instead, they must follow the defined protocols to return to their in-person placement.
  2. Many of you have already consented your children for the rapid antigen testing we offered last week that allowed us to easily reach the 20% needed. To entertain in-person learning under in an Orange Zone designation we need a lot more. If you have not given consent to testing your child(ren) and want to now, please complete this COVID-19 TEST CONSENT FORM. This will help us determine whether we can pursue a return to in-person learning.


2. Fully remote learning ONLY

a. If most of our current in-person students do not test negative after being designated an Orange Zone, all students will fall to full-remote leaning. CLICK HERE to see what that would look like for our K-6 and 7-12 students:

Please note: For WICSD families who live in 14621, you are not impacted. The Orange Zone only applies if the school your children attend falls with the zone. 

Like me, you’re probably on information overload right now. It is frustrating that these COVID-related guidelines continue to change. However, those are beyond our control. What we CAN DO is focus on our own behaviors. As your Superintendent, I am not trying to nose my way into your business. All I ask is that you carefully consider your options and if you gather with friends and/or family. Please be safe. 

I am thankful for so many things in my life, such as continued health, faith, family and the outstanding community that I serve. Thank you for staying engaged and supporting our schools through the thick and thin.

With gratitude,
Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools


Nov. 18, 2020: WEEKLY COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff, 

 

This is the first weekly COVID-19 communication since adjusting our procedures to share updates on positive cases within our district only on Wednesdays. Again, based on feedback, the stream of multiple individual reports became counterproductive for many people. Individuals who must know about each case are contacted directly by the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH), and for everyone else these communications are to keep us informed without becoming cumbersome.

 

Since our last COVID-19 update on November 14th, the MCDPH confirmed two new positive student cases, one at Rogers Middle School and one at Irondequoit High School. Contact tracing for both cases is complete and the MCDPH deemed both the result of community spread with no close contacts found at school.

 

A third case at Listwood School was incorrectly reported. Through direct communication with the parent and confirmation by the student’s health care provider, this student case is confirmed NEGATIVE but was incorrectly uploaded to MCDPH. District Office has contacted top officials at MCDPH to correct the error.

 

At this time, the MCDPH has completed its contact tracing. If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. If you have information, questions, or concerns, please contact the MCDPH’s hotline at (585) 753-5555.

 

Thank you for your continued support and please, continue to wear those masks, wash hands, and stay physically distanced. 

 

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools


Nov. 13, 2020: FRIDAY COVID-19 TESTING UPDATE 

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff:

Let me open with a quick thank you for your diligence in helping our community and school district determine best ways to manage another unprecedented situation caused by this pandemic. We are receiving helpful feedback via the Thoughtexchange sent to you on Thursday. Keep it coming. We cannot do this alone – on any front, so thank you. We understand there is a lot coming at you very quickly. Please stay with us and reach out to myself or your children’s principal with any questions along the way.

COVID-19 TESTING CONSENT

As you know, the state has designated most of Monroe County as a Yellow Zone regarding COVID-19 infection rates. As a result, we must begin administering free rapid COVID-19 tests to 20% of our students and staff starting next week. We do not plan to start this process for students until next Thursday, Nov. 19th. No student will be tested without the consent of a parent/guardian. How do you give us your decision on that? Please use the link we emailed families to fill out the form if you want to give us your consent. The deadline for this is 10 AM Tuesday, Nov. 17th.

VIDEO: WHAT DOES A TEST LOOK LIKE?

We know this is a big concern for families/students, so I took the same Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 test that we will administer in our schools. Watch a video of that at THIS LINK.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Testing will be conducted in each school building. Each week, staff will be tested Wednesdays when most students are working remotely. In a normal testing cycle, schools will test a random sample of 5% of their students every day M-T-Th-F to reach the overall 20% weekly requirement. Test locations are being identified in each building and once finalized, will be relayed to families/students. Test locations will be large enough to accommodate up to 10 students at a time physically distanced and masked except at the elementary schools. Due to their smaller populations, testing can occur through the Nurse’s Office. Locations will be setup with privacy screens to allow discretion for individuals during the test and all personnel will be outfitted with the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) per the Monroe County Department of Public Health. Buildings will target non-instructional times for student testing as much as possible to minimize classroom disruptions, but some may occur.

TRAINING

All personnel involved in administering the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid COVID-19 test will receive training provided by the MCDPH and our District. Training covers proper techniques for safe specimen collection and handling along with appropriate disposal. Staff are also informed on the necessary safety precautions and how to securely manage personally identifiable information to ensure confidentiality.

PROCESS OVERVIEW

Each week, principals will receive a list of students randomly selected from the list of known consent. We are working on details and schedules to minimize the impact to instruction. Students will be informed of their test and report to their designated location under the supervision of our test personnel. Upon arrival, students will confirm their identity and sanitize their hands while remaining physically distanced. Specimen samples will be gathered by individual students by a trained individual behind a privacy screen. Once collected, the student’s test will be labeled, and students will return to class under proper supervision. Parents and guardians of students tested will receive an email that day to indicate its completion. If a positive test is encountered, staff will follow the established protocols to isolate the individual in the building’s COVID isolation room and parents will be informed and asked to pick up their child. Any positive tests will be reported to the MCDPH for relevant contact tracing. Read more about the entire process in the new FAQ section on our website. Access it at THIS LINK.

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK

Remember to use the link emailed to you to access the “Thoughtexchange,” which is an anonymous way for you to share feedback/ideas and a valuable tool for us to gather and quantify it. The deadline to submit your thoughts/feedback is 9 AM on Monday, Nov. 16th.

BEING PREPARED

Currently the WICSD falls within the "Yellow Zone” of the NYS Micro-Cluster Strategy.  If we remain above 4% for 10 days, or jump above 5% as a rolling average, NYS officials could quickly transition us from in-person/Hybrid model instruction to temporary Full-Remote Instruction only.  Our teachers and staff are diligently preparing for in-person instruction but are taking actions to ensure that our students are prepared if we do have to make the transition to full remote. You may have noticed that students are bringing home resources that they may need if we do transition.  Please keep the materials in a safe space. We will continue to update families with any changes.

JOIN US MONDAY

We will host a “Town Hall Meeting” via a Zoom Video Webinar at 6 PM Monday, Nov. 16th. We’ll address your concerns received via the Thoughtexchange and share as much information as we can. Access that webinar again via the link emailed to you. We’ll post it on our YouTube channel for you to view at your convenience.

POSITIVE CASE
We were informed today by the Monroe County Department of Public Health that a staff member at Colebrook elementary school has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual was last in school on Monday, Nov. 9th. The MCDPH has started its contract tracing. Federal privacy laws prevent us from providing any more details or personally identifiable information. Questions or concerns? Please call the MCDPH’s hotline at 753-5555 or your healthcare provider. 

Gratefully,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools


Nov. 12, 2020: SEEKING YOUR FEEDBACK ON TESTING

Dear West Irondequoit Families and staff:

We know you all have questions about the state-mandated COVID-19 testing that area schools must start next week in order to stay open for in-person instruction. It’s our goal to keep you well-informed about this process. Keep in mind we are learning new details and adjusting daily, but please keep reading because just as we did before re-opening in September, we want your feedback.

  • Tell us your thoughts: We emailed all families today a link to access a “Thoughtexchange,” which is an anonymous way for you to share feedback/ideas and valuable tool for us to gather and quantify it. The deadline for this is 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16th.
  • Testing details: No student will be tested without parental/guardian consent. Very soon we’ll send a form that includes more details, including an “opt-out” of testing option. It also will have a choice to allow testing your child only when a parent/guardian is present.  
  • Tests en route: We expect to receive our allotment of Rapid Testing Kits by this weekend and plan to show you via video what that less invasive, nasal swab test looks like. We need 20% of our students/staff to undergo this starting next week.
  • Join us Monday: We will host a “Town Hall Meeting” via a Zoom Video Webinar at 6 PM Monday, Nov. 16. We’ll address your concerns received via the Thoughtexchange and share as much information as we can. Access that webinar via THIS LINK and by using the passcode: 595657. Can’t watch it live? We’ll post it on our YouTube channel for you to view at your convenience.

Indeed, there are once again a lot of moving parts, but this is what state officials say we must do to keep your children in classrooms. So, please give us your feedback and ideas. Please keep practicing all of the safety protocols we know can help drop the area’s infection rate below that 3% threshold again; more negative tests = the way to achieve that. And finally, please stay safe.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools


UPDATE ON COVID CASE AND COMMUNICATIONS
We were informed today by the Monroe County Department of Public Health that an Irondequoit High School student has tested positive for COVID-19. This student has been in our Full-Remote Instruction model the entire school year and not on campus. Federal privacy laws prevent us from providing any more details or personally identifiable information. Questions or concerns? Please call the MCDPH’s hotline at 753-5555 or your healthcare provider.

COMMUNICATION CHANGE FOR COVID-19 CASES

Starting Monday, Nov. 16th, we will limit our reporting of COVID-19 cases in our district to once a week – Wednesdays – to streamline the process. We understand the amount of communication you are receiving collectively from the district, principals and teachers can be overwhelming. We may make COVID-19 exceptions, as needed, but moving forward look for it on Wednesdays. Note: We will continue to share each case immediately with our staff. Students and staff will continue to be involved in contact tracing, as needed. Any communications regarding potential exposure will continue to happen directly through the Monroe County Department of Public Health and district.

Thank you again for your support and diligence in managing life for you and your children during what continue to be challenging times. We are in this together. Stay safe.


Nov. 10, 2020: YELLOW ZONE STATUS UPDATE  

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff,

We were informed today by the Monroe County Department of Public Health that an Irondequoit High School student has tested positive for COVID-19. This student has been in our Full-Remote Instruction model this school year and not on campus. Federal privacy laws prevent us from providing any more details or personally identifiable information. Questions or concerns? Please call the MCDPH’s hotline at 753-5555 or your healthcare provider.

COMMUNICATION CHANGE FOR COVID-19 CASES

After today, we will limit our reporting of COVID-19 cases in our district to once a week – Wednesdays – to streamline the process. We understand the amount of communication you are receiving collectively from the district, principals and teachers can be overwhelming. We may make COVID-19 exceptions, as needed, but moving forward look for it on Wednesdays. Note: We will continue to share each case immediately with our staff. We also will involve students and staff in helping us in contact tracing, as needed. This communication change will not impact people’s awareness about potential exposure.

Thank you again for your support and diligence in managing life for you and your children during what continue to be challenging times. We are in this together. Stay safe.

In partnership,
Aaron Johnson signature
 
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools



Nov. 10, 2020: YELLOW ZONE STATUS UPDATE 

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff, 

Since recording my video on Monday, plans have continued to develop. Thank you to everyone who reached out and shared questions and support. Both go a long way in helping our efforts to sustain our programs and services. Some have also voiced concern and even anger about the directive to test our children. I understand the fears and am strongly advocating for options, but these are the cards we've been dealt. With that comes power -- the power to rewrite the narrative by taking action to drive those infection rates down.

We know that information is critical. First and foremost, know that your child will not be tested without your consent. We also know that testing comes with a cost. As you read this letter, a shipment of rapid tests is en route from New York State to the Monroe County Department of Public Health. By next Monday, we must be ready to test 20% of our in-person students/staff and these free tests provided by the state will allow us to do that. Where, when and how will this testing occur? We are addressing those questions and plan to provide a more comprehensive update Friday outlining all the logistics.

Also planned for release this Friday will be the official Parent Consent Form and an FAQ about operating within a yellow zone. Until then, here’s a LINK to a distilled overview of the NYS Micro-Cluster Strategy as directed by Executive Order 202.68. As you’ll note, we should do everything we can to see our 7-day rolling positive test average trend down because if we don’t, the restrictions and hurdles only increase.

Before we break for Wednesday, I want to call attention again to why. In our schools and across our community, we have numerous Veterans, active-duty service people and families who have made tremendous personal sacrifices for us. On behalf of our District and Board of Education, thank you for your service to our country.

Kind regards,
Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Nov. 10, 2020: TUESDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASES 

The Monroe County Department of Public Health reported today that three Irondequoit High School students have tested positive for COVID-19. There were no close contacts found related to students or staff. According to the MCDPH, all three cases are the result of community spread. Two of the students last attended in-person instruction on November 5th, the other’s last day was October 29th.

If the MCDPH does not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. If you have information, questions, or concerns, please call the MCDPH’s hotline at (585) 753-5555 or your healthcare provider.

If you have other questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your child(ren)’s principal.

Nov. 9, 2020: MONDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASES 

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff, 

Over the weekend, the Monroe County Department of Public Health confirmed six new positive COVID-19 cases in our district: Four Irondequoit High School students, one Iroquois Middle School student and a Dake Junior High School staff member. All six cases are a result of community spread, and there were no close contacts found related to students or staff. All six individuals proactively self-quarantined early last week to limit contact, including those in the full-remote instructional model.

The MCDPH continues to do an excellent job with contract tracing. If the MCDPH does not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. If you have information, questions, or concerns, please call the MCDPH’s hotline at (585) 753-5555 or your healthcare provider.

As noted by MCDPH Commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza, schools are the safest place in our community with virtually no transmission of COVID happening in our buildings. We need to keep our children in school and safe but unfortunately, the rising infection rates may direct otherwise. Today the seven-day rolling average for Monroe County is 3.4%. I mentioned the NYS Micro-Cluster Strategy in my most recent letter on Friday, and as you can see, the Governor may soon identify “yellow precautionary zones” in our county. As stated in the past, we must take action to control this outbreak. The only way to do that is for everyone to take precautions. For schools to remain open, we must apply the following precautions with fidelity to gatherings outside of school. They are:

  • Limit large gatherings
  • Face coverings covering nose and mouth when gathering
  • Maintain physical distance when possible
  • Regularly practice appropriate hand hygiene

We do expect more cases this week resulting from Halloween gatherings. I know people are sick and tired of this pandemic, but we must stay vigilant. Please watch your family’s daily health closely and if you see any changes, be proactive. Self-quarantine and seek out a healthcare provider. Thanks to your self-awareness and our practices in school to date we’ve kept the spread at bay. Now, it could potentially be taken out of our hands. I urge us all to tighten up for the next month for the benefit of our children.

In partnership,
Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Nov. 6, 2020: FRIDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASE

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff, 

Earlier today, the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) confirmed three new positive COVID-19 cases who are Irondequoit High School students. MCDPH determined that this cluster is traced back to community gatherings last week and was not transmitted at school. Any of these students who attend in-person instruction were last in attendance on October 30th.

At this time, the MCDPH has completed its contact tracing. If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. If you have information, questions, or concerns, please call the MCDPH’s hotline at (585) 753-5555.

This letter offers another chance to reinforce the importance of practicing these safety precautions:

  • Face coverings (over the nose and mouth)
  • Physical distancing
  • Hand hygiene

These must be followed at all times, including outside of school. We know there will be gatherings throughout the holiday season, and I don’t believe it’s my place to direct you on whether you should or shouldn’t gather. I will, however, continue to strongly encourage everyone to protect our community’s health and the integrity of our instructional programs by staying vigilant and following these precautions. We cannot let our guard down, not even with close friends and family outside of our household. This isn’t a scare tactic, simply the reality if we hope to keep our children learning in an in-person, face-to-face model with our staff.

There was a rumor floating around last week that schools will be directed to close between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can tell you this: That has not been given to me or the District by the County or State. What will dictate whether in-person learning continues will be the infection rate. If our regional infection rate elevates above the established guidelines, schools will be directed to only full-remote instruction or will need to establish complex, regular COVID-19 testing strategies to return. Again, we hold the power to manage this. Let’s work together to make sure we minimize COVID-19 transmission by practicing the safety precautions outlined above.

For more information about the NYS Micro-Cluster Strategy, visit the NYS Forward website HERE.

Together,

Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools


 
Nov. 3, 2020: TUESDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASE

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff, 

The Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has confirmed that an Irondequoit High School student tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of community spread. It’s important to note that this student has not been on our campus since Monday, October 26th. At this time, the MCDPH stated there were no close contacts between the student and any staff or other students thanks to everyone following proper safety protocols.

If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. If you have information, questions, or concerns, please contact the MCDPH’s hotline at (585) 753-5555.

A few questions have been raised about a recent MCDPH update and where it can be found for you to review. The full October 20, 2020 “Clarification to NYSDOH COVID Toolkit for PreK-12 Schools” is available on our District website at Dept. of Health Update (symptoms)- 10/20/20 .

Thank you,
Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

 
Nov. 2, 2020: MONDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASE 

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff, 

The Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) confirmed today that a Rogers Middle School staff member tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of community spread. This staff member last attended school on Friday, October 30th. Based on its contact tracing, the MCDPH did not identify any close contacts between this person and any staff or students thanks to the safety precautions we have in place. As a precaution, Rogers was thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and disinfected over the weekend.

If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. If you have information, questions, or concerns, please contact the MCDPH’s hotline at (585) 753-5555.


As a reminder, here are some recent updates from MCDPH that were sent last week:

  • If you are unsure if a symptom is new or worsening, treat it as a potential symptom of COVID-19 and quarantine pending a consultation and screening with your health care provider.
  • Symptomatic students or staff  MUST consult with a health care provider AND receive an alternate diagnosis OR negative test result within 48 hours of symptom onset. People who do not meet these criteria will be placed in isolation per the MCDPH.
  • If a student or staff member experiences fever and/or loss of smell, the individual’s immediate household members (including siblings) must quarantine per the MCDPH pending COVID-19 test results of the symptomatic person.

Masking, physical distancing and hand hygiene works. Please continue to reinforce these habits at home and in the community and together we will contain the spread in Irondequoit despite the recent regional surge.

In partnership, 

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Oct. 30, 2020: THURSDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASE 

Dear West Irondequoit Families and Staff, 

We were informed Thursday that an Irondequoit High School student recently tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has completed its contact tracing and determined that the student contracted the virus outside of school. Thanks to our consistent use of face coverings and what we’re doing to promote physical distancing and hand hygiene, the MCDPH also found minimal chance of further spread in school. The student self-quarantined last weekend after feeling ill. 

If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. If you have information, questions, or concerns, please contact the MCDPH’s hotline at (585) 753-5555.

In addition, here are a few important points of clarification from recent updates from MCDPH:

  • If you are unsure if a symptom is new or worsening, treat it as a potential symptom of COVID-19 and quarantine pending a consultation and screening with your health care provider.
  • Symptomatic students or staff MUST consult with a health care provider AND receive an alternate diagnosis OR negative test result within 48 hours of symptom onset. People who do not meet these criteria will be placed in isolation per the MCDPH.
  • If a student or staff member experiences fever and/or loss of smell, the individual’s immediate household members (including siblings) must quarantine per the MCDPH, pending COVID-19 test results of the symptomatic person.

With the holidays approaching, I am asking everyone to remain focused on what is working. Your efforts to monitor temperature and symptoms prior to arrival at school are making a big difference. That, along with consistent use of face coverings, are keeping people healthy and our schools open. We all own a piece of our success, but also the burden to stay the course. Remember, we’re doing this for our children.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Oct. 17, 2020: SATURDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASE 

Dear West Irondequoit Families, 

We were informed that an Irondequoit High School student recently tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has completed contact tracing and determined that the student contracted the virus outside of school. As a precaution, the student self-quarantined and has not been on campus since October 9th. The MCDPH also indicated that the student was not a carrier of the virus prior to their last day of attendance.

If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. 

As you hear in the news, COVID-19 positive cases are to be expected especially as the weather gets colder. Earlier this week, I shared advice about the precautions we need to take when moving our small family and friend gatherings indoors. Like this case, we need to continue to closely monitor the possible physical signs and symptoms daily. Our staff and you are doing a great job completing your daily health screens and taking necessary precautions. Let’s keep up the good work and stay the course. Transmission will happen in the community, but we can contain the spread.

Again, thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to our children.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Oct. 15, 2020: THURSDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASE

Dear West Irondequoit Families, 

We were informed that a student at Dake Junior High School recently tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has completed its contact tracing and determined that the student contracted the virus outside of school and that no other staff or students are impacted.  To add to this reassurance, the student has not entered a school facility since September 29th.

If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about COVID-19 cases. 

I believe our cases reflect a shared understanding and ownership for our community’s health and especially that of our students and staff. Thank you for buying in, for coaching your children and for practicing proper:

  • Physical distancing of 6 feet or more
  • Face coverings over the nose and mouth
  • Regular hand hygiene

News from Monroe County shows an increase in community transmission within small groups that have regularly associated with one another outdoors. As you move family and social gatherings indoors, please consider those safety measures and be cautious around those you feel comfortable with outside of your immediate family. We all travel to grocery stores, gas stations and places of business and could unknowingly become infected.

Thank you again for your ongoing support.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools


Oct. 12, 2020: MONDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASE

Dear West Irondequoit Families, 

Over the long weekend we were informed that a staff member at Iroquois Middle School recently tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has completed its contact tracing and determined that the staff member contracted the virus outside of school and that no other staff or students are at risk. Since being informed that they had close contact with a known case last weekend, the staff member self-quarantined awaiting the results of their own test.

If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about this or other COVID-19 cases. 

This latest case is a great example of personal awareness. Each day our students and staff report to school, they complete a health screen that asks key questions such as:

  • Do you have a fever of 100 degrees F or higher or chills?
  • Do you have any symptoms not typical to you such as a cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, diarrhea, muscle aches or shortness of breath?
  • Has your sense of taste or smell been impacted?
  • In the past 14 days, have you been in close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Have you travelled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the NYS Travel Advisory?

Each is a critical question to consider before sending your child(ren) to school. To err on the side of caution, is to consider the well-being of not only your loved ones but also all of our children and staff. With cold and flu season upon us and the weather changing, it is critical that we remain vigilant and stay the course together. Thank you for the ongoing support and extra work you’re giving to safeguard our schools. Teaching and learning cannot safely continue as it is without your support!

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Oct. 8, 2020: UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASES

Dear West Irondequoit Families, 

I wanted to share with you that we have two new positive COVID-19 student cases, one at Dake Junior High School and the other at Rogers Middle School. At this time, the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has completed its contact tracing and determined that the students contracted the virus outside of school. Neither student has been on campus since the last full week of September. 

If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose more details or personally identifiable information about this or other COVID-19 cases. 

Last week, the NYS Department of Health provided updated guidance on how attendance should be handled for staff and students. These easy-to-follow flowcharts are important for parents and guardians to help clarify the process and illustrate how decisions are made to quarantine or allow re-entry to school. For your reference you can find them on our COVID-19 Resources page: http://bit.ly/COVID_Resources_WI

As the weather continues to cool, I cannot stress enough how important it is to apply COVID-19 safety precautions when gathering indoors or in the community. Please limit your gatherings to the recommendations from the CDC on gatherings and community events and make sure to practice physical distancing and hand hygiene and wear face coverings. Regardless of whether you’re gathering with extended family or friends, we must remain committed to these safeguards. Together, we share the responsibility to protect our schools from community-based COVID-19 infections. Your child(ren)’s education depends on it.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools

Oct. 1, 2020: UPDATE ON DECISION MAKING FOR ATTENDANCE
The NYS Department of Health just provided us with updated guidance on how attendance should be handled for staff and students. These are a must-review and easy-to follow flowcharts for parents and guardians. Find them on our COVID-19 Resources page: http://bit.ly/COVID_Resources_WI
Sept. 29, 2020: COVID-19 CASE UPDATE FOR WEDNESDAY

Dear West Irondequoit Families,

I wanted to share with you that we have a new positive COVID-19 case for a student at Dake Junior High School. At this time, the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has completed its contact tracing investigation and determined that the student contracted the virus outside of school. This student has not physically entered a school facility since early last week.

If the MCDPH did not contact you or your child, there is no risk of exposure. As you know per federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information about this or other COVID- 19 cases.

To help you understand the protocols followed for a student exposed to COVID-19, please read the current MCDPH guidelines regarding quarantine measures and health screening. This county guidance is based on the direction of the NYS Department of Health requirements: The student is symptom-free for 14 days from the last date of contact with a COVID-19 case.

More information on local COVID-19 testing sites is located at NYS Information on Novel Coronavirus. Please direct any questions about potential exposure, testing, contact tracing or quarantining to the MCDPH. Call (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

According to the Monroe County Commissioner for Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza, face coverings and physical distancing in schools are working. That, along with the contact tracing and precautionary quarantines, prevents spread and keeps our infection rates low. As Dr. Mendoza shared in a recent news article, we must carry these habits outside of school, especially as the weather turns colder. I urge you to consider the use of face coverings and physical distancing when gathering in groups indoors. If we can agree to these terms together, we can protect our children, staff and schools to sustain the excellent teaching and learning happening in our classrooms.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
 
Sept. 28, 2020: ANOTHER COVID-19 CASE UPDATE 

Dear West Irondequoit Learning Community,

This letter is to inform you about a new positive COVID-19 student case, a Dake Junior High School student, reported today by the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH). The student has not physically attended a school building this school year and is being isolated.

Based on its investigation, the MCDPH has determined that the student contracted the virus outside of school. At this time, contact tracing is complete, and the MCDPH has contacted anyone who could potentially be at risk of exposure to this student. If you or your child were not contacted, there is no risk of exposure. As you know, we cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information per federal privacy laws.

As in past communications, I urge families to remain diligent outside of school and in the community. Continue to practice the recommended State Department of Health safety measures and track your symptoms daily. That includes limiting the amount of people you are around in group gatherings. If you experience health symptoms not typical to you, make sure to swiftly report them to your health care provider and initiate a precautionary quarantine.

Please direct any questions about potential exposure, testing, contact tracing or quarantining to the MCDPH. Call (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

Thank you,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
Sept. 27, 2020: UPDATE ON TWO NEW COVID-19 CASES 

Dear Families,

This weekend, the District was informed by the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) that two new students have tested positive for COVID-19, one at Dake Junior High School and one at Irondequoit High School. 

After completing its investigation, the MCDPH has determined these cases are not related to one another. Both students contracted the virus outside of school and neither were in school buildings while infectious. The infected students are in isolation and will not return to in-person learning until being released by County health officials. At this time, contact tracing has been completed. Anyone at risk of exposure to these students outside of school has been contacted by MCDPH and placed into a mandatory quarantine. If you or your child were not contacted, there is no risk of exposure. We cannot disclose any more details or personally identifiable information per federal privacy laws.

Please direct any questions related to potential exposure, testing, contact tracing or quarantining to the MCDPH. Call (585) 753-5555 or email COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

To clarify information about last Wednesday's news release on positive tests: Two new cases were reported at that time – both students at the Rogers Middle School. One was found to be transmitted outside of school, and contact tracing on the other case was inconclusive on where transmission occurred. In an abundance of caution, a single class was placed in mandatory quarantine as a result. Those students and staff will not return in-person to school until released by the MCDPH.

Except for the one inconclusive case, the transmission of COVID-19 continues to occur outside of school. I urge students, families and staff to remain diligent and always practice the recommended State Department of Health safety measures. They are:

  • Remain physically distanced by 6 feet or more when possible
  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when in close contact
  • Practice hand hygiene regularly

Even though the local infection rates remain low, we can continue to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through our collective commitment to these recommended practices. Together, we will continue to safeguard the joint health of our schools and the Irondequoit community.

In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools


 Sept. 25, 2020: MESSAGE FROM DR. JOHNSON


Here is a video message from Dr. Johnson.



Sept. 23, 2020: SINGLE CLASS AT ROGERS QUARANTINED AS PRECAUTION

The Monroe County Department of Public Health’s investigation of a Rogers Middle School student who tested positive for COVID-19 has determined that the student came into close contact with at least one other student who is in the same class. That other student also has tested positive. Although it is unclear if this transmission occurred in or outside of school and using an abundance of caution, the MCDPH has placed all staff and students in that single classroom into Mandatory Quarantine.

These individuals will not return to in-person learning until being cleared by the MCDPH. It also recommends that they remain distant from others in their households. Unless a quarantined individual tests positive for COVID-19 and is placed in isolation, other members of their households are not considered “close contacts” by the Public Health Department and can continue with in-person instruction at school.

Families and staff impacted are being notified tonight. No other students or staff at Rogers Middle School need to take any further action unless contacted by the MCDPH or School District. Any questions related to potential exposure, testing, contact tracing or quarantining should be directed to the MCDPH at (585) 753-5555 or by emailing COVID19@monroecounty.gov.

“I am glad we are taking assertive measures to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” said Aaron Johnson, Superintendent of Schools for West Irondequoit. “This reaffirms how important face coverings and physical distance is to preventing the spread of COVID-19. We must remain vigilant. Special thanks to our COVID-19 Safety Team and administrators along with the Monroe County Department of Public Health for quickly assessing this situation and guiding us to take these additional precautionary measures.”

Sept. 23, 2020: UPDATE ON REQUESTING K-6 LEARNING MODEL SWITCH

Dear Families of Grades K-6 Students,

Thanks to the “can do” attitude of our staff and you, our students are settling into their respective pandemic learning models and off to a solid start. Together, we’ve tackled many obstacles to create new systems and structures to support our students academic, social and emotional needs given the circumstances. At every turn, there has been new information or changing guidance requiring flexible thinking. Thank you for trusting the process.

More K-6 families opted for the 100% remote learning model than we initially expected. Based on data from August, we expected 250 grades K-6 students to learn remotely. Since then, this number has increased to 380 students. To meet that number of more than 100 additional students, we’ve had to collapse in-person sections to accommodate the requests. The District has been committed to preserving the option for families to change their learning options. In August, we expected this to include the option for students to change from remote to hybrid at the 10-week mark and from hybrid to remote at any time. Since then, we’ve learned that the initial response rate to 100% remote learning will limit our ability to deliver on the vision we had in August.