Dear Putnam Valley Community:
Good morning, I hope that everyone had a restful Thanksgiving break, and I appreciate everyone’s flexibility as we were unexpectedly forced back into remote only instruction.
At this time, our Elementary School and High School are ready to welcome students back into their classrooms on Thursday, December 3. Unfortunately, our Middle School is struggling through staffing issues associated with recent quarantine orders. To assure the health and safety of our Middle School students, our Middle School will remain in remote only instruction until Wednesday, December 9.
I understand that stress and anxiety during this time are very high. I am sensitive to the fact that everyone is grappling with their own personal matters. These decisions are always made after careful consideration and collaboration with our regional public health officials. These decisions are based on “how we can most effectively and safely educate our students.”
Considering what we know: Schools remain one of the safest places for our students, and I firmly believe there is no substitute for the instruction our staff provides on a daily basis. Additionally, Governor Cuomo has made it clear that he wants schools to remain open for as long as it is safe to do so. To date, our school district has had zero cases of the virus spreading within our schools. This is a result of continued efforts to ensure that the health and safety protocols are followed for which I am very grateful. I am beyond proud of the educational opportunities we are safely providing for the students of Putnam Valley.
I will continue to be a strong advocate for our students and staff while working alongside our local Department of Health to demand answers from NYS regarding:
- Why New York State has not identified a single town in Putnam County as a “microcluster,” despite the high rates of positivity.
- Our localized positivity rate to know how Putnam Valley compares to the County rate.
- Access to testing kits, which are currently not available to districts outside of identified “microclusters.”
These are complex issues, but I am confident that we can get through them together and in the best interest of the children of Putnam Valley.
Dr. Jeremy Luft
Superintendent of Schools