All Students Transition to Fully Remote Instruction Beginning 11/23/20
November 16, 2020
Dear Orchard Park Families;
The purpose of this communication is to inform you of the District's intention to transition to remote-only instruction on Monday, November 23, 2020. If Governor Cuomo designates our community as an Orange or Red Zone sooner than November 23, 2020 we would transition to remote-only instruction at that time.
The District is very concerned with how quickly the COVID-19 virus is spreading in our community. While we have done everything we can to sustain in-person instruction with students, there are several factors that are leading us to transition to remote learning, beginning on Monday, November 23, 2020. The primary factors impacting this transition are the extensive student, teacher and staff absences from our departments and buildings. These absences are in many cases tied to quarantine or isolation orders by the Erie County Health Department. A continued increase in COVID-19 cases is impairing our ability to provide face-to-face instruction. Although we believe that our school buildings have not been the source of community spread, the sheer number of staff and student absences are increasing each day making the continuation of face to face instruction very challenging.
As you likely know, the District has received information from the state regarding the New York State Health Department zone designations. Yellow, Orange, or Red Zone designations are determined by the governor when a community or area reaches a high level of positive COVID-19 cases. Orchard Park is currently designated in the Yellow Zone. The implications and impact to schools for each zone designation, including testing requirements for in person instruction, are also determined by the governor and the New York State Department of Health. We are continuing to plan for on-site testing as per the state guidance and we will communicate that plan to you when we have more information. The District will not begin any testing program without informing parents and staff of the process, and we will not test any student without parental consent.
I will continue to keep you informed as we receive more information. As always, thank you for your continued support.
Superintendent of Schools