Letter: Transportation news and COVID update 12.10.21December 10, 2021
Dear Oswego City School District Community,
I am writing to share some concerns of note the district is experiencing and some changes to our operations that we will employ beginning next Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.
Throughout this week, the district had a high number of transportation staff who were out, due to illness and other concerns. As a result, the district transportation operations were strained as we are seeing with many similar districts around upstate New York.
Consequently, the district employed a series of timely procedures, which included: combining some of our transportation runs and postponing and/or rescheduling some of our extracurricular and athletic contests. I want to thank our department and workers for their flexibility and hard work, and parents for their patience as we work to fill the needs of our learners.
Throughout next week we are anticipating that we may experience some of these same challenges again. Given this fact, parents and/or guardians should know:
- Some of our buses might run late next week. The district will work diligently to prevent delays, wherever possible.
- The district may have to postpone and/or reschedule additional extracurricular activities and/or events if we do not have drivers to cover these runs. If this becomes necessary we will share this information with parents and students as soon as possible.
Throughout this week, the district has seen an increase in its COVID-19 positive cases and quarantines (40 infections of students/staff and more than 70 student/staff quarantines this week). In addition, the Oswego County Department of Health has shared that our county-wide level of infection has grown significantly since the start of the school year (the county now has an infection rate greater than 13%).
Given these concerns and the need to ensure the health and safety of our entire learning community the district will now be enacting several precautionary measures which include the following:
- Spectator Limitations – Effective Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, the district will be limiting its number of spectators for all indoor events (concerts, athletic events, etc.). Specifically, each family will be allowed to bring no more than four spectators total to an event. Please know, the district is in the process of putting into place livestreaming through WBUC for all community members who are unable to attend events in person.
- Access to Schools – Given the transmission rate in our county, we will be placing a hold on allowing outside groups to utilize our schools and facilities until further notice. When we are able to reopen our sites for community usage, we will share this information with each community organization.
- Mitigating Strategies – The district will continue to be diligent with respect to enforcing mitigating strategies when visitors attend indoor events in our schools. This includes but is not limited to ensuring visitors: socially distance themselves, utilize hand sanitizer and wash hands where needed and the enforcement of mask wearing for all visitors who attend indoor events.
Finally, I am requesting that each parent and/or guardian review the district’s Preparing for Future Shutdowns section of our reopening plan (pages 13-14). This plan explains that our community should be prepared for an immediate pivot to school- or district-wide remote learning whenever we cannot operate daily programs and/or experience concerns due to a growth of COVID-19 infections.
Please know, it is the district goal to continue to provide “in-person” learning wherever possible. However, should it become necessary to pivot to our emergency plan, we want to ensure that all parents and/or guardians are aware of this and have arrangements for alternate childcare in place.
A copy of this plan can be found on the district’s website at: tinyurl.com/OCSDReopeningPlan2122
Should any parents and/or guardians have any questions or concerns about this information, they should direct their questions directly to their school principal.
As we move forward, I will continue to share information and keep our community informed on any changes that the district employs. As always, I thank you for your efforts and support of the district as we work to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff and visitors.
Yours in Education,
Mathis Calvin III, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools