January 29, 2021
Dear Manhattan 114 Families:
We have made it through our first two weeks of in-person instruction since returning after winter break. I remain optimistic that we will remain with “in-person” instruction for the remainder of the year and I have hope that the continued improvement in the State and Region 7 positivity rates will continue. With more vaccinations being completed, my hope is that we will be able to return to a normal schedule in the not so distant future, ending a very challenging and difficult year on a positive note. However, we must continue to all remain committed to doing our part with the procedures that are in place if we are to make this happen. Therefore I want to take this time to include a couple of reminders as we have seen a few positive cases result in a significant rise in “close contacts” at the end of this week.
Please closely monitor your child’s symptoms and complete the self-certification every day. Whether you complete it online or you print a paper version of the form and send it with your child, this is an important step. However, this system is only effective if certifications are truly accurate and students with symptoms are not present at school.
If anyone in your household is symptomatic and awaiting the results of a COVID test, please keep everyone home until the results have been received. If the results of the test are negative for those being tested, then it is okay to send kids back to school. If the results are positive, then keeping your children home while awaiting the results has prevented possible spread to others and can potentially reduce the number of students or staff that may have to quarantine.
We completely understand the need for bus transportation and do what we can to provide it for all of our families. Although bus routes were added at the beginning of the year to accommodate riders, there are up to 48 students per bus. When a child has tested positive, close contacts are based on exposure in the last 48 hours, including riding the bus together. Within six feet on the bus equates to several rows on both sides of the bus being considered close contacts. We are finding that a significant number of students are having to quarantine due to exposure on the bus. If you are concerned about quarantining and are able to drive your child(ren) to and from school, this will limit the exposure and risk to your child(ren) and reduce the risk of them possibly having to quarantine.
Thank you for continued cooperation and understanding. I hope you all have a wonderful and healthy weekend.