2021-22 Superintendent Updates

January 10, 2022

Greetings Lancer Families,

I realize have been sending a great deal of communication these last few days regarding COVID-19 and the changes to previous guidance. I apologize for inundating your inboxes with more email, however,  we are communicating so frequently because the information is not only very important, but it is evolving every day.

Important Updates:

  • Over the weekend the county launched a portal where you can now receive an electronic isolation order which will also serve as a release document.  You can access that portal here:  https://healthcalls.monroecounty.gov/hometest

  • If your student tests positive for COVID-19, they must be entered into the portal to receive a date for them to return to school.

  • You will also need to provide the information regarding the positive test to your child’s school nurse.

  • We encourage you to visit the district website for the most up to date information regarding COVID-19 along with resources which can help answer some of the questions you may have:  https://www.eastiron.org/page/learning-2021

  • Please remember that wearing a proper mask which covers your nose and mouth is still required whenever inside a district building.

Thank you for continuing to do everything you can to keep our students and staff safe and our schools open.

Mary E. Grow

Superintendent of Schools

East Irondequoit Central School District

January 7, 2022

Dear Lancer Families,

 IMPORTANT CHANGES TO ISOLATION PERIOD

 The previous guidelines for return to school required a ten-day isolation period. It was confirmed today that new guidelines adopted by Monroe County will apply to schools as well and the isolation period has been shortened from 10 to 5 days. It is important that you work closely with the Monroe County Department of Health to determine the first date of exposure.

 Please review language from the MCDOH below:

 Fully Vaccinated and Boosted:

If you test positive for COVID:

  • You need to isolate for 5 days. This period begins the day after you started having symptoms or, if you are asymptomatic, the day after you took your COVID test. (i.e., the day symptoms started is Day 0, the next day is Day 1, etc.)

  • If you are asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or your symptoms are resolving, your isolation ends. However, you still need to wear a well-fitting mask when around other people for another 5 days. If you cannot tolerate a mask or you still have symptoms, you need to stay in isolation for 5 more days

 If you are exposed to someone with COVID:

  • No quarantine is required, but you should wear a well-fitting mask when around others for 10 days starting with the date of your last exposure. If symptoms appear, quarantine and seek testing. Quarantine ends if the test is negative or, if testing is not done, you isolate according to the guidance above.

 Not Fully Vaccinated:

If you test positive for COVID:

  • You need to isolate for 5 days. This period begins the day after you started having symptoms or, if you are asymptomatic, the day after you took your COVID test. (i.e., the day symptoms started is Day 0, the next day is Day 1, etc.)

  • If you are asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or your symptoms are resolving, your isolation ends. However, you still need to wear a well-fitting mask when around other people for another 5 days. If you cannot tolerate a mask or you still have symptoms, you need to stay in isolation for 5 more days.

 If you are exposed to someone with COVID:

  • Starting with the date of your last exposure as Day 0, you need to quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask around other people for 5 more days.

 We expect all county forms and flowcharts to be updated shortly and will send them to you as soon as they become available.

 Mary E. Grow

Superintendent of Schools

East Irondequoit Central School District

January 6, 2022

Dear Lancer Families,

The announcement of the Rochester City School District moving to remote learning has led to many inquiries about how close East Irondequoit is to considering the move to remote instruction. Although the surge of the OMICRON variant continues to present significant challenges to maintaining staffing in all departments, we will continue to do all we can to keep our schools open for in-person instruction. If we cannot maintain coverage for absent staff, we are prepared to switch to remote learning and we will make decisions as they impact individual buildings, not the entire district. 

There are two scenarios which would force us into a remote learning environment. Those are:

  1. Public health authorities or the Governor close schools throughout the County or State

  2. We have inadequate staff in our schools or transportation due to staff in isolation/quarantine

Again, we are doing all we can to avoid any school closures. Currently, we have district staff pitching in to cover vacancies across the school district. In our transportation department alone, all those with the proper licensure are driving routes. Although that may be a disruption to the continuity of our on-time pick-up and drop offs, we are maintaining all bus routes in the safest environment possible. Likewise, teachers and administrators are assisting colleagues by covering classes or helping to plan lessons while the teacher of record is absent due to illness. We are making it work and are committed to staying in-person. However, if the scenarios above do occur forcing one or more of our buildings to move to remote learning, we will communicate with our school community as soon as possible. Please look for communication in the form of an email, robo call or Talking Points message.

Thank you for you continued support. Our schools are safe places, and we will keep them that way.

Mary E. Grow

Superintendent of Schools

East Irondequoit Central School District

Vacancies:

Substitute Teachers Needed – please consider applying. You do not need to have an education degree to substitute teach.

Hiring Teacher Aides

Hiring Bus Drivers and Bus Attendants

Click here for more information or to apply for a position

 

January 2, 2022

There has been quite a bit of news related to COVID-19 and the impact it might have on our schools in the coming weeks. If you have been following the local news, the recent number of positive cases around the county is on the rise. That’s not surprising considering what we have learned about the rapid spread of OMICRON and the likelihood that folks gathered for the holidays. While our number one priority is keeping students and staff safe, we are also working hard to keep our schools open for in-person instruction. The spread of this latest variant is already impacting our staffing across all departments.

 

As we open our schools tomorrow, we need your help. If your student is not feeling well, running a fever, has a persistent cough, or a runny nose, do not send them to school until all symptoms pass and please send your student to school with a well-fitting mask (we will continue to provide the disposable masks).

 

We expect to receive more rapid test kits on Monday morning and will hold a drive-thru pick up at Laurelton Pardee, in the bus loop, on Tuesday evening from 4pm to 6pm. If you would like a kit for your student but are unable to attend the drive-thru event, please contact your child’s principal or assistant principal. The NYSDOH has provided almost 3,000 kits, one kit for every child attending EICSD schools.

 

Finally, on December 23rd, the New York State Department of Health released revisions to the Test to Stay program currently operational in EICSD. The TTS program allows asymptomatic, unvaccinated school-based close contacts (e.g. students, teachers, school staff) to avoid school exclusion (but not other restrictions of quarantine) by testing negative through serial testing using rapid NAAT or antigen tests during a seven-day period following exposure. Under the new guidelines, students who are participating in the TTS program will not be required to test all seven days following exposure, rather, they must be tested a minimum of three times during the seven-day period. Consistent with the previous guidance, students participating in TTS must remain quarantined outside of the school instructional day and will not be allowed to participate in after school/evening events (no athletics, clubs or extra curriculars). Students may participate in the TTS program only with parent/guardian consent.

 

Thank you for your continued support. 

Mary


December 15, 2021

Good afternoon I wanted to provide you with an upate about the number of recent COVID-19 cases in East Irondequoit:

  •  Week of 11/29-17 Total cases

  • Week of 12/6-25 Total cases

  • Week of 12/13 (so far)-26 Total cases

 As you can see, there has been a substantial increase in the number of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. After the family gatherings during the Thanksgiving holiday, this was not unexpected.

 With another Holiday break approaching, we are anticipating another increase in the weeks that follow. To help track cases, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has provided free test kits, which can be administered at home, to every school district in the county. The county health department is encouraging families to self-test for COVID immediately before any holiday gatherings with individuals outside of their household. The more home tests distributed in the community, the greater chance of limiting community spread before students return to class in the New Year.

East Irondequoit CSD will distribute these kits to East Irondequoit families on December 21st between the hours of 3:00-6:00 PM in the bus loops at Laurelton Pardee and Eastridge High School. You simply need to drive up and you will be given a test kit for each student in your household.

You do not need to provide identification to receive a kit, you only need to tell us how many are needed for each child in your household.

 If you are unable to pick up a kit at the drive thru and completed the survey sent last week indicating that you would like a kit sent home, your student’s principal will follow up.

 These kits are to help families know if anyone in their household has been infected, they are NOT acceptable for Test to Stay situations. Those tests can only be administered by a family doctor, pharmacy, or school nurse.

For more information about the COVID 19 rapid test kits, please visit our website for an FAQ provided by the Monroe County Department of Health.

 https://www.eastiron.org/Page/6214

 Thank You,
Mary E Grow
Superintendent of Schools

December 13, 2021

 Hello,

 The NYDOH just released updated guidance related to emergency regulations 10 NYCRR 2.60 and 10 NYCRR 2.62, and commissioner’s determination pursuant to those emergency regulations.  You can learn more about the details of this guidance at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/schools-youth

 Key changes related to schools include:

 Commissioner’s determination pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.60

  • The state’s masking requirement is extended to any gathering on school grounds which addresses or implements educational matters where students are or may reasonably be expected to be present. In the event that officials presiding over public meetings implicated by this directive are unable to guarantee compliance with such masking requirements, they are advised to implement full virtual access to public meetings in accord with the September 2021 amendment to the New York State Open Meetings Law.  

  • Clarifies that NYSDOH does not provide for the implementation of “mask breaks” during the school day, nor does it provide for an exception to the masking requirement on the basis of minimal social distancing in classrooms. This is in accordance with CDC guidance recommending universal masking in schools to keep children in school without risking close contact exposure and subsequent quarantines.

  • Please note that new Section #7 does not apply to schools; schools are addressed in Section #3.

 Commissioner’s determination pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.62

  • Clarifies that schools may accept antigen (Rapid, shallow nasal swab) OR NAAT (PCR) testing to allow people to participate in school following COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Clarifies that asymptomatic individuals exposed to COVID-19 who have been previously diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and have since recovered, are not required to retest and quarantine within three (3) months from the recorded date of initial COVID19 infection, or date of first positive diagnostic test if asymptomatic during illness. Schools will have to keep track of when the three months is over, at which time the staff person should resume testing.

 Thanks to all of you for being vigilant in helping to reduce the spread of COVID 19 in our schools.  Based on contact tracing, we continue to have minimal spread in our schools. 

 

Mary E. Grow

Superintendent of Schools

East Irondequoit Central School District

 

December 8, 2021

 The County has asked all local school districts to distribute iHealth COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test kits to our students. Please complete the survey below to help assist us in determining the best time of the day for the drive thru pick up of the kits. Additionally, if you are unable to collect a test kit at one of our drive-thru locations please include your contact information in this survey link and your student’s building leader will work with you to get a test kit to your home. 

https://forms.office.com/r/GcyH1Gga89

If you have any questions regarding the test kits, click here:

www.eastiron.org/athometests

Thank you

November 29, 2021

Dear Lancer Families,

The New York State Department of Health has clarified that extracurricular activities and all school-sanctioned events that take place after school or on weekends, evenings or holidays are not permitted under the Test to Stay protocols issued at the end of October 2021. Students participating in Test to Stay may only attend their academic periods during the regular school day as long as their daily, rapid antigen test results are negative.  This is a shift in the policy announced by the Monroe County Department of Public Health which had allowed for school-sanctioned events.

I have a attached a link to the East Irondequoit Central School District Test to Stay protocols for your review.

Mary E. Grow

Superintendent of Schools

East Irondequoit Central School District

https://5il.co/12e64

 

November 19, 2021

 Dear Lancer Families,

 We hope that your families are doing well and staying healthy.  As you might notice from our daily COVID-19 reports, the number of positive cases in our district continues to rise.  Since the November 6th update, we have seen an addition of 39 new cases for a total of 96 students and 35 staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.  Although the cases may be increasing in our district, it does not appear that school is the primary location for the spread of the virus.  Thank you for your continued support of the mitigation measures in place and for keeping your student(s) at home when they do not feel well.

 I wanted to share with you an addition to the testing options we currently have in place in East Irondequoit.  Beginning on Monday, November 29th, East Irondequoit will offer the Test to Stay program that has been approved by the Monroe County Department of Health.  This program will allow any unvaccinated, asymptomatic student who has been exposed to COVID-19 to remain in school and participate in school sanctioned events as long as they test negative for COVID-19 during a 7-day school testing period.  Test to Stay involves a daily test using the same rapid antigen test currently used for surveillance testing and would only be administered with parent/guardian consent.  I have attached a document that explains the process that will be followed in East Irondequoit.  Additionally, I have attached a document from the Monroe County Department of Health that outlines the various tests currently available in Monroe County schools.

 Just a reminder, our UPK-8 students will have a half day of school on Monday, November 22nd and no school on Tuesday due to Parent/Guardian Teacher Conferences.  Our high school students will have full days of school on both of those days. 

 Thank you for all that you continue to do to support our students and staff, it is greatly appreciated.  I hope all of our East Irondequoit families have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

 Best,

Mary

 

November 5, 2021

Good morning, Lancer Families,

I hope this email finds you doing well.

There has been quite a bit of news this week related to vaccinations and COVID-19 testing for our youngest students.  While we are happy to learn that students ages 5-11 will soon have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we also recognize and respect that the decision to vaccinate is a personal choice for each family. If you do choose to participate in vaccinating your students, 5 years and older, but do not know where you can access the COVID-19 vaccine, please feel free to refer to the Monroe County website at https://www.monroecounty.gov/.

This week the Monroe County Department of Health shared the news that they are working on a plan for a “test to stay” program in schools.  This would allow students who have been quarantined due to exposure to remain in school pending a daily, negative test result. We are expecting more details about this program in the coming week.   Additionally, East Irondequoit has received three, rapid PCR testing machines from the county.  Our nurses are receiving training in the next week and we will share information related to how the rapid PCR tests will be administered.  Please keep in mind that testing would be optional.  We will not test a student without the consent of a parent or guardian.

Over the last two weeks, we have seen an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in our schools. This seems to reflect a similar increase in cases throughout the county. Since the return to school, we have had a total of 73 students and 19 staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.  We will continue to send daily notification of all positive cases in each of our six buildings.

Next week there will be no school on Thursday, November 11th in observance of Veterans Day.   We are both grateful and proud of the folks who work in East Irondequoit who served in the military, some of whom are still serving our country.  If you too are a veteran, THANK YOU for your service.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mary

 

 October 18, 2021

 Dear Lancer Families,

 Yesterday began the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) School Board Recognition Week.  Our school board is a group of nine dedicated volunteers who have made a commitment to public education. Collectively, they set the direction for our school district and ensure alignment of that vision in order to provide the best educational opportunities for every child in our schools.  Thank you to our East Irondequoit board members:

 Kim Lasher, President

Carol Watt, Vice President

Stacey Beaumont

Jessica Krupa

Dan McInerney

Jeffrey Petrie

Jill Ricci

Patricia Storm

Doreen Swan

 

COVID Cases:

At the end of September, the New York State COVID Report Card was back up and running.  In case you missed the daily reports of positive COVID cases in our school district, you can access the data reported since the return to school.  The report card can be accessed by following this link: https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home .

As a reminder, a PCR test is still required to return to school.  This past week the County announced a free, rapid PCR test site for return-to-school purposes at the County Fleet Center.  Follow the link to pre-register for a test, if necessary: https://www.monroecounty.gov/health-covid-19-testing .

The week of October 4th we began our testing program for staff as required by New York State. Staff members will continue to be tested weekly unless they choose to “opt out” by providing proof of vaccination. 

Our surveillance testing program for students also began the week of October 4th.  We have approximately 200 students participating in the voluntary testing program.  If you are interested in having your student participate, please contact your student’s principal.

College and Career Night Reminder:

Please bring your high school student to our annual College and Career Night on October 28th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm in the Eastridge Library and Auditorium.  There is a high demand for employees in the Manufacturing and Skilled Trades industry and this informational night is designed to introduce our students/families to opportunities available not just after high school but, possible opportunities for students in their junior and senior year of high school.  Don’t miss it!

Spirt Wear Store:

East Irondequoit Sprit Wear is available!  If you would like to purchase any new Sprit Wear, the online store will be open through October 28th.  Please click on this link to go to the District Website to view the items:   EICSD Spiritwear

Thank you for all that you are doing to keep our school community healthy and safe!

Mary

Mary E. Grow

Superintendent of Schools

East Irondequoit Central School District

 

September 7, 2021

Greetings Lancer Families,

On Thursday, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released information related to COVID-19 testing and school reopening guidance. This new guidance sets forth a requirement for all school staff, including contractors, to be tested weekly for COVID-19 with an opt-out provision upon proof of vaccination. Additionally, the guidance offers recommendations for the safe reopening of schools developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I have provided a link to the state website that provides more details regarding the state issued guidance.

In addition to the requirement for weekly testing of all school district employees, the NYSDOH is requiring East Irondequoit to offer weekly screening COVID-19 testing to all our unvaccinated students with parent/guardian permission.  The screening tests will be the same tests we administered last fall when we were in the micro-cluster red zone.  These are the Abbott BinaxNOW shallow nasal swab tests provided by the Monroe County Department of Health.  Our principals will be sending more information regarding this testing opportunity in their weekly newsletters along with a consent form if you would like to have your student tested. We are planning to begin weekly testing the week of October 4th.  We will never administer a COVID-19 test without the permission of our student’s parent or guardian.

East Irondequoit created our reopening plan based on the recommendations of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the mandates set forth by New York State, including universal masking.  We have already welcomed our students back to the new year with orientations and athletic competitions, and tomorrow is our first day of school. It has been a very positive start with some great energy!  We couldn’t be more excited for this school year, and we are grateful for your continued support.

Regards,

Mary E. Grow
Superintendent of Schools
East Irondequoit Central School District

August 13, 2021

Greetings Lancer Families,

Better together. Over the last year and a half, we have all learned just how true that statement is -- for our students, for our school district and for our community. We are excited that in just a couple of weeks we can once again welcome all our staff and students back into our classrooms and look forward to many wonderful celebrations throughout the new year!

The last several weeks have resulted in some confusion regarding the expectations of the state as it relates to the return of students to school this fall. While the messages continue to evolve, I wanted to make sure that our community understands what to expect as you prepare to send your student(s)back to school. Please know that our plans thus far are fluid and can (and will) be adapted as the data related to COVID 19 changes.

Our number one priority is to keep all students and staff safe. With that in mind, we crafted a plan that follows the recommendations of the New York State Department of Education, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as the Academy of Pediatrics. To begin the new year, we are requiring masking for all while indoors. We will follow additional mitigation measures as outlined in our attached Learning 2021 Plan. Again, these plans are fluid and flexible, and how we start the school year on September 8th is likely to change as the local COVID 19 infection rates decline. Due to the nature of how information changes both locally and at the state level, please follow the district on social media (Twitter: @EICSD and Facebook: East Irondequoit CSD) and visit our website eastiron.org/learning2021 for the most up to date information. Additionally, please look for a survey early next week where we will be soliciting feedback regarding the reopening plan for 2021.

Last year there was nothing that we wanted more than to have all our students safely back in our classrooms, unfortunately, that was not possible. This year, we are bringing everyone back. As a community we have been through a lot, and we will do everything possible to make this year one to remember-for all the right reasons!

Regards,

Mary E. Grow
Superintendent of Schools
East Irondequoit Central School District

August 4, 2021

Dear Lancer families,

We are very excited to welcome our students back to school on Wednesday, September 8th! Families will soon receive the annual school district calendar in printed form. Please spend some time reviewing the monthly events as we are eager to return to in-person events and celebrations such as Open House, Curriculum Nights, Rainbow of Stars and Homecoming! 

Yesterday we received some unexpected news from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and I want to provide a quick update on what we are doing in terms of preparing for our re-opening.

The notice from the NYSDOH informed all New York schools that there will be no guidance regarding the reopening of schools this fall.  This is a change from several weeks ago when further guidance was expected, but then delayed. Rather, Dr. Zucker, the Commissioner of the NYSDOH recommended that each school district create their fall re-opening plan based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

The district leadership team has been working on a plan for the upcoming school year that emphasizes safety and at the same time provides flexibility to adjust as local COVID-19 infection rates change.  This plan will provide as normal of an educational experience as possible.  While we await information from the New York State Department of Education that could impact the re-opening of school, we will continue to finalize a comprehensive school re-opening plan that we will share next Friday, August 13, 2021.

I encourage you to check the district website for updates since we are constantly receiving new information and to be on the lookout for messages from building principals regarding school-specific details.  If you have concerns exclusive to your child returning to school this fall, please reach out to your student’s principal or assistant principal as soon as possible.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

Mary E. Grow
Superintendent of Schools
East Irondequoit Central School District

July 30, 2021

Greetings Lancer Families,

I hope this email finds everyone doing well and enjoying a bit of the summer warmth.  As the month of July ends, I wanted to update the community about what we know regarding the return of students and staff to school this fall versus what is speculation.  I will be sending regular communication throughout the month of August as new guidance is provided by New York State. 

What we do know is that we will welcome all students back to full-time, in person learning on Wednesday, September 8th.  Students will receive information regarding classroom assignments, daily schedules, and transportation information in the coming days/weeks from building principals.

We also know that the fall athletic season (Varsity and JV) will begin on August 23rd and August 30th (modified).  I am including the link regarding fall athletics sent by our athletic director a few weeks ago. Additionally, we are excited to celebrate fall events such as marching band competitions, spirit week, and homecoming on September 25th!  

There continues to be many questions and issues related to the return to school this fall including masking, physical distancing, transportation, COVID-19 testing requirements, and daily screenings. Although we have yet to receive clear guidance, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff will continue to be our number one priority during planning process. The protocols we followed during the 2020-2021 school year were effective and resulted in both low COVID-19 infection rates and the ability to stay open for in-person and hybrid learning at all six EICSD buildings. This will serve as the foundation for our planning with flexibility to adjust, as necessary.

Yesterday we received a memo from Betty Rosa, The Commissioner of Education in New York State informing us that the Governor’s staff, including the NYSDOH, is developing guidance for all New York State schools related to school opening this fall. The NYSDOH has informed NYSED that the latest guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will serve as the basis for their school guidance. I have included the link to the CDC guidance for COVID-19 prevention in schools.

Finally, we have created a new tab on our district website called 2021 Learning. Please refer to the website for more information related to COVID-19 resources in our district and throughout Monroe County. We are very excited to have all students, every day, in our schools this September. It is truly going to be a great school year!

Mary E. Grow
Superintendent of Schools
East Irondequoit Central School District