I am so pleased to be welcoming you back to the 2021-22 school year in person, full time. The last year and a half have presented us with challenges we couldn’t have predicted. I’m hopeful we will all experience better days this school year. Bringing our students back to school five days a week is a good start.
I recognize we are not out of the COVID woods yet, which is why pandemic protocols will need to continue until this virus can be reined in. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recommends that schools base their opening plans on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance updated on August 5, 2021. That CDC guidance and information from our local health department will be used to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. The protocols are as follows:
- Universal indoor masking is required for all individuals including visitors in all BOCES-owned or leased buildings and classrooms, regardless of vaccination status.
- Masking is not required outdoors on BOCES-owned or leased property.
- As per CDC guidance, individuals should maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between one another to reduce transmission risk.
- BOCES will continue to layer additional prevention strategies for added safety including PPE, proper hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning protocols, and respiratory etiquette.
- Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when ill.
- A one-time electronic health attestation will be required of staff and students at the beginning of the school year.
- For further information on the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES 2021-22 School Opening Plan, click on this link.
Similar protocols will be adhered to when staff need to serve students at locations other than their school setting. BOCES will closely monitor community transmission rates, as well as NYDOH, CDC and NYSED guidance. Necessary adjustments to our health and safety protocols will be made accordingly.
My spirits are lifted as we bring children back to school full time. The Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES is committed to working with you and our component school districts to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment for everyone.
I referred to the challenges we have all experienced this past year and a half. For that very reason I think it is critical to provide welcoming, responsive surroundings that foster a sense of belonging as we move forward for our students, families, and staff. Belonging is being part of something bigger than oneself while not losing one’s individual identity. The Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES mission and vision highlight equity, inclusion, diversity, collaboration, and respect. Those attributes provide the foundation for an environment of belonging. The greatest compliment students, staff and families can give the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES is that they feel they BELONG.
Best wishes for a successful school year.
Jo Anne L. Antonacci
Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES