November 18, 2020
Dear Tapestry Families,
This afternoon Governor Cuomo moved most of Erie County from a Yellow to an Orange Precautionary Zone through the state’s Micro-Cluster Action Initiative. Under this new Orange Zone designation, all schools in the zone must pivot to 100% remote learning. This move is precisely what we were predicting would happen looking at the region’s data last Thursday.
Projecting out further, the Compass Leadership Team met this morning and decided that we will extend our dates for 100% remote/virtual instruction for all grades, K-12, tentatively, until Monday, January 11, 2021, when we will then reevaluate based on the data in the region in the new year.
I also wanted to take this time to provide all families with updates on Tapestry’s COVID-19 testing implementation plans that have been progressing. Over the weekend, the NYSDOH released updated guidance regarding COVID-19 testing in Yellow Zones. In Yellow Zones, schools now have two weeks to meet the necessary 20% random testing requirements. If two-week results reveal that the positivity rate among the 20% of those tested is lower than the Yellow Zone’s current 7-day positivity rate, testing at that school will no longer be required to continue. However, if the two-week results reveal the positivity rate is higher than the Yellow Zone’s current 7-day positivity rate, the school will be required to continue testing 20% of the in-person population every two weeks.
Also, following NYSDOH guidance, Tapestry is currently in the process of applying to become a Limited Service Laboratory (LSL) so that on the back swing of this rise in cases, when the region’s current positivity rates inevitably decline and we fall back into a Yellow Zone, we’ll be ready and able to implement in-school testing safely, carefully and efficiently and re-open for in-person school just as soon as we can. As a parent of two Tapestry students, my family and I feel incredibly fortunate to have access to such a robust virtual learning program run by the caring adults in the Tapestry crew… but make no mistake, we are eager to have the opportunity to return to in-person learning just as soon as its safe enough for all of our students, staff and families to do so.
As we move forward in the process to build out our testing implementation plan, please stay on the look out for new information from me, including relevant student consent forms that will be needed prior to any testing taking place. (Testing consent from each individual student will not be necessary for that student to return to in-person school.) When we are successfully approved to become an LSL, NYSDOH will be providing us with the BinaxNOW (non-invasive) COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test. Stay tuned for more relevant information from us in the coming weeks.
Please continue to stay safe and healthy and continue to follow the guidance from the experts: wash your hands, wear a mask and stay socially distant. We will get through this, and we will do it together.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
We are crew.