MORE IMPORTANT UPDATES ON THE RETURN TO SCHOOL
Sun, Jan 2 11:15am

Dear PS 107 Families, 

 

Happy New Year! I hope that you have had a restorative holiday, with time to connect with loved ones. 

 

As many of you know, the NYC DOE is continuing to update their health and safety guidance in light of the current COVID surge. I will be holding a Town Hall as soon as the DOE releases their updated Health Screening Questionnaire to review the latest guidance and answer any questions. Stay tuned for a date, time, and Zoom link. 

 

First, a few very important reminders: 

  • If you have not already done so, please report to me (jcohen@ps107.org) and to Pamela Rosenberg (prosenberg@ps107.org) any positive cases of COVID-19 in your household over the holiday break. 
  • If your child tested positive for COVID-19 over the break and you have not already informed us, please let us know as soon as possible. Please share the following: 
    • the test result from the lab (if a lab-administered test) OR a photo of the positive at-home test with the date the test was taken; 
    • indicate whether your child was symptomatic or asymptomatic, and if symptomatic, the date that symptoms began.
  • Children who tested positive on 12/25 or later cannot come to school tomorrow, Monday, 1/3. Please reach out to Pamela to confirm the date your child can return.
  • For those of you who traveled over the break, the DOE does not have specific guidance, but New York State recommends the following for unvaccinated individuals who traveled internationally OR domestically (this is a recommendation, not a requirement): 
    • self-quarantine and get tested with a viral test (antigen tests - at-home or lab-administered rapid tests) 3-5 days after returning from travel; 
    • stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days even if you test negative between days 3-5; 
    • self-quarantine for 10 days after travel if you do not get tested. 
  • We strongly recommend vaccination, which a great deal of evidence indicates prevents severe illness and hospitalization. Check NYC's Vaccine Finder for a location where you can get your child vaccinated. 

I am also attaching to this message an update to the letter I sent on 12/28 from the DOE's Schools Chancellor David Banks on new policies and procedures to manage the Omicron surge. Please review the letter carefully. I am highlighting (and attempting to distill) some of the most salient points below: 

 

  • Home Test Kits
    • Beginning tomorrow, 1/3, students who have been in a classroom where an individual tests positive for COVID or students who have symptoms of COVID, will receive an at-home test kit with two at-home rapid tests in it. 
    • For students who were exposed, one test must be administered as soon as your child returns home with the kit. The second test must be administered 5 days after exposure (or at the onset of symptoms, if before the 5 day mark). According to the DOE, you will be able to indicate on the new health screening questionnaire that your child has taken these at-home tests and their test results. Assuming they continue to test negative, they can continue to attend school in-person. 
    • For students with symptoms, one test must be administered as soon as your child returns home with the kit and the second test must be administered 24 hours later. Children may not return to school until both at-home tests are negative or they receive a negative PCR test. 
    • If a student tests positive on either an at-home test or a lab-administered test, they must isolate for 10 days following the positive test result. While isolation rules have been relaxed for adults who test positive (depending on symptoms), this is not the case for children. 
  • New Quarantine Policy
    • Students in grades K-12 do not have to quarantine if they are in close proximity to an individual testing positive, as long as they do not have symptoms and continue to test negative on at-home rapid tests. 
    • There is NO CHANGE to the quarantine policy for PreK. Students in close proximity to a positive case, must still quarantine for 10 days. 
  • Increased In-School Surveillance Testing
    • In-school testing will double in the New Year, and will include vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. 
    • We strongly recommend that families consent to in-school testing. If you have not already consented, you can do so on your child's NYC Schools Account (https://www.schoolsaccount.nyc/) or you can complete a paper form (found here) or PS 107 can provide you with a paper form. 
  • COVID-19 Testing
    • We continue to highly recommend testing your family regularly. The city is opening additional testing sites, which can be found here. We hope that this reduces the long wait times at existing sites. 

Again, I will be holding a Town Hall for families to discuss all of this, as well as to review the DOE's  updated Health Screening Questionnaire (once it is released). In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me (jcohen@ps107.org) or Parent Coordinator Pamela Rosenberg (prosenberg@ps107.org) with any questions. 

 

Let's hope that 2022 eventually moves in a more positive direction! In the meantime, we will be doing everything possible to keep your children happy, healthy, and in school. 

 

Warmly, 

Ms Joanna