May 20, 2021
Dear Yellowjacket Families, Friends, and Community Members:
There has been both legal and safety-related information recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State related to a number of items. I wanted to share how these items impact us in the Oneonta City School District.
Masks: The CDC, and now New York State, has shared guidance that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face mask in most situations (with exceptions). Please note that this guidance has not changed for schools as masks are still required in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, and all other school events.
COVID-19 Screening Protocols: All staff and students continue to be expected to answer the screening questions each day before coming to school and have their temperatures checked prior to entering their respective school building.
Athletic Spectators: With the increase in gathering size for outdoor events, we are no longer bound by the 2 spectator per athlete stipulation. With that said, please note that all spectators, coaches, volunteers, and athletes are still required to wear a face mask at all times and maintain appropriate social distancing.
Other Events: We recognize that family and friends are trying to plan for end of year events. At this time, we have planned for an outdoor Oneonta Middle School graduation and an outdoor Oneonta High School graduation. Both of these events will allow for 2 guests per graduate to attend in-person. We can seat this number of guests in the Lloyd Baker Field bleachers socially distanced. We will have virtual ceremonies for elementary awards/moving up celebrations. Specifics, if not already released, will be so shortly.
Marijuana/Cannabis: On March 31st, Governor Cuomo signed into law the legalization of the adult use of cannabis/marijuana. All Oneonta City School properties are bound by federal requirements under the Drug-Free School and Communities Act as well as the Drug-Free Workplace Act. This means that the use, possession, cultivation and sale of cannabis remain prohibited on all Oneonta City School District properties.
Next School Year: We are looking forward to opening our schools in September five days per week with all students in attendance. As such, we will not be hosting remote learning in the 2021-2022 school year. However, Otsego-Northern Catskills (ONC) BOCES is exploring the possibility of offering a remote option for the schools they serve for next year. To accurately determine our need for contracting with BOCES for this service, we will be sending a questionnaire to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of our current remote students seeking input regarding the opening of the 2021-2022 school year. Our school community has done a wonderful job throughout this pandemic in an attempt to keep our students, our staff, and the families that they return home to as safe and healthy as possible. We are very excited to begin the 2021-2022 school year in full capacity. As always, we will continue to monitor any and all safety measures/procedures recommended/stipulated by the State or County.
School Budget: With sincere appreciation, I am happy to report that the 2021-2022 school budget was passed on Tuesday by this incredibly supportive community.
Free and Reduced Meals: Although the United States Department of Agriculture has extended free lunch through the 2021-2022 school year, we are asking that if you are eligible for free or reduced meals this school year, PLEASE fill out the Free & Reduced Lunch Application 2020-21 that can found on our District website by visiting: Oneontacsd.org → “District” → “Food Services” and under “Download/Files” please click on “Free & Reduced Lunch Application 2020-21”. Certain aid and resources for our schools can/may be diminished or lost if we do not accurately reflect the needs of our community. If eligible, please complete and return the form to: Oneonta City Schools, 130 East Street, Oneonta, NY 13820. Please call 607-433-8243 Ext. 2153, if you need any assistance in completing this form.
Please stay well and Thank You for your continuing support of the OCSD and GO Yellowjackets!!