11/14/2020 Updates

Greetings HCS Community,

I hope this note finds you all well and enjoying the beautiful, yet brisk day! I am reaching out this afternoon to share a few brief updates with you.

Save the Date: HCS Town Halls Scheduled
Many thanks to the families and community members who participated in the Elementary and Secondary Town Halls on November 12.  Your insights and feedback are greatly appreciated and inform the development of action items at HCS.  Based on input from participants, we have scheduled our next set of Town Halls to accompany the conclusion of the first semester, as follows:
  • Elementary Town Hall: Thursday, January 28 from 6:00 - 7:00
  • Secondary Town Hall: Thursday, January 28 from 7:00 - 8:00
Please Note:  In the event of a sudden shift in programming due to guidance surrounding COVID-19 we will plan for and communicate information about Town Halls scheduled for an earlier date.

New York State Cluster Action Initiative
As you are likely aware, Monroe County was placed in the state’s Yellow Precautionary Zone due to the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in that geographical region. Given the proximity of this Yellow Zone designation, districts within the Wayne Finger Lakes region are actively exploring the logistics and potential impact of a yellow zone designation in effort to plan for such.

The NYS Department of Health shared information with schools on November 12, which highlighted the following key points:
  • The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has determined that schools open to in-person instruction in yellow zones are required to test 20% of in-person students, teachers and staff, at least once a week for as long as the school remains in a designated yellow zone. 
  • NYSDOH will provide rapid testing kits to schools at no cost.
  • Schools will work with the local Department of Health to deploy testing in their school setting to facilitate the required testing of students, teachers, and staff attending in-person. 
  • Any individual who takes the required training can conduct the rapid testing provided by the NYSDOH as long as they are affiliated with an Limited Service Laboratory (such as the DOH).
Ontario County does NOT currently have a zone designation at this time (nor do we have any information to suggest that a designation is forthcoming).  Given the rapidly evolving COVID terrain, I did want to share with our community what a YELLOW ZONE designation may mean for us at Honeoye: 
  • Under a yellow zone designation, schools have two options; to go fully remote or to remain open with mandatory weekly testing of 20% of our in-person students, teachers, and staff.  It would be the position of HCS to remain open and to develop a plan for the required weekly testing.
  • Under a yellow zone designation, we would randomly test 20% of our faculty, students and staff. We would seek parental consent for testing of students. 
  • Under a yellow zone designation, HCS would partner with the Ontario County Department of Health, which is a limited service lab (LSL) and request the free testing kits through them.  It is my understanding that the testing would involve usage of COVID-19 Ag Card test. This is a minimally invasive test involving a brief nasal swab at the opening of the nasal passage and results available within 15 minutes.  
As all that is COVID related is rapidly evolving, HCS remains committed to sharing updates with our community as new information becomes available. In the event of a yellow zone designation, we will ensure that our families are kept apprised of the district plan of response.

HCS Thanksgiving & Holiday Recess Meal Request
HCS is pleased to announce that HCS Food Service will be offering free student meals for all HCS students during both the Thanksgiving and December Holiday Recesses. Meals will be available for pick up at the HCS Cafeteria back door (Main Street bus loop) from 10:30 - 11:30 on:
  • Tuesday, November 24th (2 days of breakfast/lunch per student for 11/25 & 11/27)
  • Tuesday, December 22nd (2 days of breakfast/lunch per student for 12/23 & 12/24)
  • Monday, December 28th (4 days of breakfast/lunch per student for 12/28 - 12/31)
Please complete our online GoogleForm to indicate your interest in receiving free breakfast and lunch meals available to HCS students during this month's Thanksgiving Recess and December's Holiday Recess.   Send an email to: Meals@honeoye.org with questions or to request individual contact from Mrs. Lowe or Mr. Bastian regarding participation in this free "meals for recess" initiative.

Fall and Winter Athletics
I would like to offer a tremendous shout out to all of our fall athletes, their coaches, and to Lorri Campbell, our Athletic Director, who are currently wrapping up the regular fall season and segueing into sectionals. As you are likely aware, in effort to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our athletes, the New York State High School Athletics Association generated stringent guidelines for play amidst the contextualization of COVID-19. Our athletic teams’ adherence to the guidelines and commitment to athletics is a tremendous source of PRIDE at the POUND. Thank you again to our student athletes, coaches, and to Lorri Campbell.. It has been a joy seeing you out on the fields!

At this juncture, we believe that New York State will be permitting low and moderate risk winter sports to begin on November 30. As soon as districts receive more detailed information from the State, our Athletic Director will share the information with our athletes and their families on the logistics of applicable sports and related safety practices.

As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about this information or otherwise. We thank you for your continued support of the district and our work in advocacy for HCS students. Be safe and be well.

Bridget Ashton

Elizabeth Bridget Ashton
Superintendent, Honeoye Central School District
8528 Main Street
Honeoye, New York 14471
On Twitter: @EBridgetAshton