2021-2022 Academic School Year
We will continue with a variety of responsible and reasonable actions to protect the health and safety of our students and staff while minimizing the disruption to students' education. A few examples include:
- School Attendance: As we have in the past, but now more than ever, we are directing parents to keep their child home when they are sick or not feeling well. If a student needs to quarantine after a diagnosis or exposure to Covid, they may notify the school to receive online instruction.
- Body Temperature: Parents should take their children's temperatures prior to sending them to school. A student or staff temperature registering 100 or higher requires the individual stay home until fever-free without medication for 48 hours. If consultation with your family doctor results in a suggested Covid test, a negative result should be submitted before returning. As recommended by medical personnel, all student and staff temperatures will be taken at the start of the school day before entering the building.
- Personal Hygiene: Keeping hands clean and away from the face are important for maintaining good health. We will provide regular access to hand washing and sanitizer. Students will be directed to wash their hands prior to and after eating, as well as after recess and PE. Students are recommended to cough/sneeze into a tissue or their elbow and then wash or sanitize their hands.
- Physical Distancing: Classrooms will continue to be set up with at least 3 feet between student desks. We will continue to follow procedures to practice physical distancing when walking between classes and when gathering in large groups.
- Wearing Masks: ULCS will not require masking as we will be practicing physical distancing, although we recommend wearing a mask for anyone who is not vaccinated. (This decision is as of August 12, 2021.) Please remember that the school may need to change our policy based on the changing circumstances in Dutchess County rates of infection data, CDC guidelines or new mandates or laws from NYS. Regardless of the current regulations, ULCS will foster a culture of acceptance about mask-wearing. Any student or staff who elects to wear a face mask more than is required will be allowed and encouraged to do so.
- Campus Cleaning: All rooms will be disinfected and ventilated after school each day. Playground will be disinfected weekly. Restrooms will be disinfected after lunch/recess and each evening.
- Pods: Our elementary building and high school building will be considered separate pods and we will minimize interaction. Each classroom in the elementary building will be considered a pod, so that in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in one classroom only that classroom will need to go virtual for a time.
If your child develops a fever or other symptoms of illness, COVID or otherwise, during the school day, they will be brought to an isolation room to protect others. ULCS will call the parent/guardian on record. We ask that parents have 3 emergency contact numbers in RenWeb and that you do your best to pick up within 30 minutes.
Remember, parents should take their children's temperatures prior to sending them to school. A student or staff temperature registering 100 or higher requires the individual stay home until fever-free without medication for 48 hours. Parents are responsible for contacting their family doctor for advice on Covid-19 testing. As recommended by medical personnel, all student and staff temperatures will be taken at the start of the school day before entering the building.
ULCS will not require masking as we will be practicing physical distancing, but we recommend it for those who are unvaccinated, (decision as of August 12, 2021). Please remember that the school may need to change our policy based on the changing circumstances in Dutchess County rates of infection data, CDC guidelines, or NYS mandates. Regardless of the current regulations, ULCS will foster a culture of acceptance about mask-wearing. Any student or staff who elects to wear a face mask more than is required will be allowed and encouraged to do so.
Masking requirements while on transportation provided by another school district are determined by that district. Please follow the rules established by your bussing provider.
Students will be regularly encouraged and reminded that physical distance is an important aspect of reducing the transmission of harmful pathogens. We will be spacing desks 3 feet apart in classrooms and practicing social distancing when we line up and travel the hallways in the elementary building.
Our student population is not large enough to require social distancing while outside.
We will offer athletics this year, and follow the requirements of the athletic groups we participate in regarding masking during games. Details will be shared with players by Mr. Barton as he learns about them for each sport. Please contact Mr. Barton with questions.
Details about COVID-19
If there is a confirmed Covid-19 case in your household, any student who is unvaccinated needs to quarantine according to the CDC guidelines (currently 10 days from last exposure or onset of symptoms). Vaccinated students who are asymptomatic do not need to quarantine, but the CDC recommends a test after 3-5 days following exposure.
Any ULCS student who is following a 10-day quarantine may opt in to virtual participation. Please notify the school and your elementary teacher if you would prefer virtual classes or work out a plan to complete schoolwork independently.
Please keep your child home and call to notify the school nurse.
Use your best judgement and seek the advice of your child's doctor if you would like medical support. Testing, arranged through your doctor, is an option to verify if the illness is COVID-19 and inform quarantine decisions. All students must be fever-free, without the use of fever reducing medications, for at least 48 hours prior to returning to school. The guidelines from CDC are available here.
Love them and care for them! Consult with your child's doctor if you have concerns. Please notify the school as soon as possible of a positive test result. Current CDC guidelines state that you can be around others after: 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.
If your child feels well enough to participate virtually in school, please notify the school so we can provide online access.
Clear and timely communication is our goal, especially during these uncertain times. In every circumstance we will be communicating to parents in a reasonable and responsible manner. In particular, with every confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student or employee you will be informed via parent email and phone alert system. This email will focus on maintaining the privacy of the students and/or family that has been diagnosed, and will outline the recommendations of the health department.
ULCS believes parents should make decisions for the health and well being of their children. We are praying that the COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandated in NYS as a vaccine that schools must require. At this time, it is not required of schools, and ULCS is not requiring of our students or staff. We may ask for voluntary data to determine our vaccination percentages, simply to inform our social distancing practices. The school nurse may ask for vaccination status to determine guidelines, but disclosure is optional and will only determine which set of guidelines from the CDC is suggested. (For example, vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine after known exposure, while unvaccinated individuals are.)
Flexible online learning options and attendance
If your child must quarantine for 10 days following a positive diagnosis or known exposure, please notify the school if you are interested in online participation. ULCS will provide a virtual classroom experience for the days of a quarantine.
Virtual school is NOT available for students who are traveling on vacation, didn't sleep well last night, or are experiencing traditional, brief illnesses. ULCS will not be providing a virtual classroom every day, and students will not be allowed to simply wake up and decide they aren't coming to school today.
2021-2022 is going to be a great year at ULCS! Our theme verse for the year, Matthew 7:21, helps us to recognize that our faith is Not Just Words. We can’t wait to see what God is going to do in the hearts and minds of each one of us.
We need to hold our plans loosely, as things seem to change frequently. However, we have received word from Dutchess County DOH that both the NYS Department of Education and NYS Department of Health have made public statements that local school districts have the autonomy to make their own decisions. ULCS will follow the recommendations of the CDC, continuing our focus on enabling in-person learning which is robust and community-building.
We will continue to keep the elementary classrooms (each one) and the high school as separate pods, minimizing contact. We will take temperatures for all staff, students and visitors entering the building daily. We continue to encourage you to keep your child home if they are sick. We will all practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently. Our school will be disinfected and cleaned regularly. Desks will be spaced at least 3-feet apart. We will practice social distancing when moving through the hallways.
As for what you most want to know - Masks are optional at this time as we will be practicing social distancing, although ULCS does recommend masking for anyone who is not vaccinated. We do ask everyone to remember that masks may be required if circumstances change.
What else is changing? Virtual learning is changing. Rather than having every classroom both online and in-person every day, virtual learning will only be available if a student needs to quarantine for 10 days due to exposure or diagnosis of COVID-19 (and only if the diagnosed student feels well enough!). Parents must notify the school if this option is to be utilized. If parents prefer, they can consult with the teacher about independent work to be done instead. This means virtual learning will not be available to students on vacation, who had no ride to school one day, who had a bad night of sleep, or any other non-COVID reasons. This will help to ensure the best possible education for all of our students, and the best work environment for our faculty.
Many of you have questions about vaccines. We are not requiring vaccination of our students (who are old enough to be eligible), staff or faculty. We may attempt to collect vaccination status so that we can determine our percentage of vaccinated community members, for planning purposes. Disclosure is voluntary and confidential and will only be used for planning.
We have updated our plans on our website, https://www.uptonlake.com/homecovid19.cfm, as well as our FAQs page. If you have any questions please contact me at the school or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upton Lake Christian School