RECENT DISTRICT COVID INFORMATION 4-7

  • April 7, 2021

    Dear Orchard Park Families:

    From the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic we have strived to provide open and transparent communications with our parents, students, community, stakeholders, teachers and staff.    We value our partnership with families and are writing to share an update with you.

    As you may have heard, the Orchard Park Central School District and its Board of Education are named in a legal action, along with other New York State entities, involving the delivery of instructional services during the pandemic.  In general, the action seeks to declare current state-issued health guidance for in-person learning invalid and to compel the District to offer full-time, in-person learning for all students.  Yesterday, the parties appeared before Judge Colaiacovo, who is presiding over this matter as well as a similar action that was filed against the Williamsville Central School District.  During that appearance, the Court directed the District to submit a written plan to offer full-time, in-person instruction to all students, and that the plan be submitted to the Court and to the parties, including the New York State Department of Health (“NYSDOH”) and the New York State Education Department (“NYSED”), by April 13, 2021.  The NYSDOH and NYSED were directed to indicate their approval or disapproval of the District’s plan by April 20, 2021.  The Court issued the same directives in the action against Williamsville.  

    Accordingly, the District will be submitting a plan per the Judge’s order.  In order to comply with the Judge’s order, this plan may include significant and necessary schedule changes to accommodate full-time, in-person learning at all grade levels.  It was suggested by the Court that parties consider the three-foot social distancing recommendation set forth in the CDC’s updated guidance issued on March 19, 2021, even though it is not yet clear whether or to what extent the NYSDOH will adopt that guidance.  There are several unknowns at this point, and any required changes will take some time to implement.   

    As always, I appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this matter.   We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, families and staff.  I will continue to keep you informed as this matter progresses. 

    Sincerely,

    Matthew McGarrity,
    Superintendent of Schools