Thursday, November 19, 2020

Unprecedented Times

We continue to experience unprecedented times of challenge in our lives. It is striking that which must be rethought and reconsidered. What is positive is how we approach the reality of our “temporary normal”. We have a culture that considers “How can we….?” when it comes to events, traditions, and experiences. 

There are daily examples that are seemingly more routine, but nonetheless significant. 

  • Our custodial and grounds department's attention to disinfecting, cleaning, and monitoring air flow. 
  • Our transportation staff travel new, more repetitive routes and provide support to buildings in lunch procedures. 
  • Our food services staff remain creative with preparing and delivering meals in new ways. 
  • Our health offices maintain strong communication with families and health officials in ever-changing circumstances. 
  • Teachers and teaching assistants revise and adjust instruction and provide emotional support that is the heart of a student’s day.  
Put simply, we have an outstanding staff!

Another seemingly “routine” sight is that of arrival and dismissal every day. However, it is better described as extraordinary. Thank you to all parents/guardians who provide transport, and all parents providing health screens and temperature checks every day. We have found mask wearing to be quite diligent and are thankful for everyone who displays respect and care for others’ health by doing so.

The partnership with Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) continues to support our school and community. Information from the OCHD website includes that of status, travel, testing and more. Symptomatic testing for schools through Onondaga County, with Upstate Medical University, Nascentia Health, and Cayuga Health System is available for students and staff.  (Registration required for saliva-based testing can be found here or call the Upstate COVID-9 Hotline 315-464-2582 select option #0). Syracuse Community Health Center Testing is available without appointment. (There is also a listing of available test sites on the District website by clicking here.)

Contact tracing is currently more frequent with community spread. The interaction with OCHD officials and tracers including those from NYSDOH is thorough and efficient. Please click here to view a video for a brief overview of the process to provide clarification of process and communication. 

Consider the communication relative to the current health status. 

  • By phone, please remember that an unfamiliar phone number could be a health official or contact tracer. It is imperative to accept the call to inform the process. 
  • With technology, please check “junk”, “spam”, and “promotions” folders in your email to prevent a missed communication from school. 
  • Information is pushed as applicable to those impacted or by building for implications of change or an assurance of continued schedules. 

Stronger Together Image
We see evidence of “Stronger Together” every day. Do not miss the chance to stop and recognize it. I just did.

David C. Bills

Superintendent of Schools
West Genesee CSD