Given the National, State and community circumstances related to Covid-19, I wanted to send you a message regarding District Covid-19 data and our plans moving forward. First and foremost, we have had very few Covid-19 cases among our students and staff (15 total cases as of 11/18/2020). This data cannot be “fudged” as anyone who tests positive is reported to the Department of Health by the testing facility and then to the State by the District (see https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/searchResults
) and the two are verified. Below is some additional data for your information:
- Commack schools have approximately 7,000 staff and students with about 5,000 currently reporting to our schools daily.
- Seven (7) of our eight (8) schools in Commack that have had three (3) or fewer reported Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the school year;
- Five (5) of those seven (7) schools have had one (1) or fewer students test positive Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the school year;
- The high school which holds more than 30% of our staff and students has had only five (5) cases; and
- No one has contracted Covid-19 in our schools (all cases have been contracted outside of school buildings).
It is clear that the Commack safety plan and the efforts of staff and students to diligently follow our safety protocols including social distancing and masks, has worked so far; there is little to no doubt that at this time our schools are some of the Covid-19 safest places anywhere. Therefore, we plan to continue to keep our schools open using the Commack Model for the foreseeable future and will only move to full remote if there is a spike in school-related Covid-19 cases or we are directed to close by the State as part of a regional closing plan.
Please be aware that the State does have protocols in place to close communities, including schools, if the rate of infection in a community is deemed too high. Below are two charts that demonstrate the conditions that will be imposed upon a community should they be deemed to qualify for one of the zones below:
Parents, please be aware that should Commack qualify for one of the above zones and we are required to administer Covid-19 tests to students, we will only do so with your written permission!
I would also like to clarity that rumors that there has been a meeting of Superintendents (local or otherwise) to discuss and determine that we should should close schools after Thanksgiving are patently false; certainly I have not met and determined that we should close after Thanksgiving. Further, Long Island schools are not governed by the New York City Department of Education and their closing has no effect on our schools!
In closing, the BOE and I fully support keeping our schools open as long as they are safe, and right now they are. However, we will continue to monitor any spread of Covid in our schools and proceed accordingly. As always I will communicate with you to assure you have as much notice as possible should conditions change. Know too that we are analyzing the survey results, collecting student performance data, and reviewing our current instructional program and, in the coming weeks and months we will share any revisions and/or improvements to the Commack Model. As always, I want to thank the entire community for your ongoing support and efforts during these challenging times, you are doing a great job!
PS: Wash Your Hands, Wash Your Hands, Wash Your Hands
PPS: Please be safe during the Thanksgiving holiday to protect yourself and your loved ones. We have added new information to our Helpful Resources and Information Page
that includes (click the links below for more information):