Dear Putnam Valley Community:
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones well and looking forward to the holiday celebrations to come. As evidenced by our recent newsletter, there is much to celebrate as a school community, and we are looking forward to the time with our families, as well as the promise of a bright new year ahead in 2022.
As we look ahead to what 2022 may bring, Putnam Valley School District continues to closely monitor the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases across our region and our schools. We have not experienced a surge of this magnitude, and it is evident that the Omicron variant has changed how quickly the virus spreads.
Frequent testing and remaining home while symptomatic have proven to be the most effective ways to keep the virus out of our schools. Universal mask wearing, social distancing, and proper hygiene have greatly reduced the spread of the virus within our schools. In fact, a majority of our current cases can be traced back to in-home or other out of school exposures.
The district remains committed to in-person instruction, as we know this type of learning greatly impacts student learning. It is our intention to reopen schools as scheduled on Monday, January 3. In the event we are unable to safely staff our buildings, the possibility exists that we could be forced back into short-term remote instruction.
We are hopeful that the upcoming break will provide an opportunity for the virus to dissipate, but we remain keenly aware that holiday gatherings may exacerbate the spread of the virus. We are requesting that families continue to notify the school district of any positive test results over the break, although our ability to conduct contact tracing will be greatly reduced. In the event that your child tests positive over break, we ask that they remain home from school until you are contacted by a school official. It may take school staff a couple of days to work through the backlog of cases.
The district has been working closely with neighboring districts, the Putnam County Department of Health, and the Putnam County Executive to explore the possible implementation of a Test to Stay (TTS) Program in Putnam County. While we await updated guidance from New York State regarding Test to Stay programs, we remain hopeful that a county supported program will make TTS a possibility for students in our schools.
Please enjoy your well-deserved holiday break. Be safe and stay well.
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools