Dear Putnam Valley Community:
I hope this message finds you well and you are enjoying your summer. Our buildings are busy with summer school programs, facilities projects, and we are preparing for the return of students in September. Here are some mid-summer updates:
Congratulations to our first-ever IB Diploma recipients! Our High School was authorized as an International Baccalaureate School in 2019, and this year we proudly celebrate our first-ever IB Diploma recipients. The fact that all 16 of the inaugural diploma candidates met the rigorous requirements necessary to earn the globally recognized diploma is extraordinary. A tremendous achievement. Congratulations to all our students and to all of our staff who guided them along the way. (see picture below)
Summer Programs – Our traditional extended year program and ENL academy are up and running and all of the students involved are enjoying the experience. Our High School Summer Enrichment program has held several sessions which have been well attended and have received very positive feedback from the students involved. Summer enrichment programs at the Middle School and Elementary School are scheduled to begin later this summer.
Facilities Work – The second phase of the voter approved facilities project is well underway at the Middle School. Crews have completed the demolition phase and have begun the process of building the new bathrooms. The Middle School gym floor is also in the process of being resurfaced. Our exceptional buildings and grounds staff are hard at work completing their extensive summer cleaning while moving furniture and returning many of our classrooms to their typical environment for learning.
2021-2022 School Year – While work began several months ago, planning for a return to school, there are certainly many questions that remain. I’ll summarize what we know to date and what we are anticipating; with the understanding that everything is subject to change once we receive guidance from New York State.
Return of Students: As previously communicated, all buildings are planning for a full return of students to our classrooms. Classroom furniture is being returned to our instructional spaces and rows of desks are being removed. We anticipate welcoming back all students to full time in-person instruction this fall.
Remote Learning: Unless otherwise required by NYS, Putnam Valley will not be offering a remote instruction option for students. Families have the option to enroll their child(ren) in “homeschooling” if they decide to not send them into school for instruction.
Contact Tracing/Quarantine Orders: We anticipate that contact tracing and quarantine orders will continue next school year for those individuals who are not vaccinated. Individuals who are identified as a contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine. We are awaiting more specific guidance from NYS regarding who is identified as a contact and how long they must quarantine.
Vaccinations: We do not anticipate vaccinations will be required (for those eligible) this school year. However, vaccinations remain the most effective way to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 and the associated quarantine orders. Individuals still have time to become fully vaccinated before the opening of school. There is no official timeline for when individuals under the age of 12 will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Mask Wearing: Although we are awaiting updated guidance from NYS regarding face coverings, all of the recent guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) coupled with the resurgence of COVID-19 (Delta Variant) point toward masks being required when schools reopen. We will continue to monitor this topic for the remainder of the summer and will provide updated information as it becomes available.
Opening Days: The official start to the 2021-2022 school year is Thursday, September 2, although some buildings will be offering a staggered start to the school year. As a reminder, schools will be closed: Monday, September 6 for Labor Day and Tuesday & Wednesday, September 7 & 8 for Rosh Hashanah.
Elementary School: All Students (September 2 & 3)
Middle School: Grade 5 & 6 Students Only (September 2), All Students (September 3).
High School: Grade 9 & 10 Students Only (September 2), Grade 11 & 12 Students Only (September 3).
Stay safe and be well,
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools