Follow CDC Guidelines
"Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate." Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts, November 26, 2020
December 6, 2020
Dear Yonkers Public Schools Staff,
With the escalation of COVID-19 cases around our region, our learning community must continue to be vigilant in following the CDC guidelines at all times while at work. In fact, for your protection and for those individuals with whom you come in contact outside of work, I would strongly encourage you to follow the guidelines at all times. Medical authorities affirm that by wearing a face covering, washing your hands often and watching out for crowds, we can significantly reduce the spread of the virus.
This week, we completed the COVID-19 Yellow Zone Testing required by Governor Cuomo. Over four (4) days our school nurses administered 844 COVID-19 Rapid Ag tests and only 2 individuals tested positive. Our positivity rate (0.0024) is less than a quarter of a percent. Yonkers’ results affirm the Governor’s premise, that in-person instruction is not a significant driver of local viral spread.
Thank you to the 526 staff at the 14 Yellow Zone schools who volunteered to take the test. Your commitment to everyone’s health and safety is laudable and appreciated.
Our data demonstrates that Yonkers schools have a significantly lower positivity rate than the greater Yonkers community. This occurred because the vast majority of our school colleagues and students are aggressively adhering to the mitigation measures outlined in the District’s protocols. By continuing to follow these simple guidelines, school personnel and students are less likely to contract the virus while at work.
The District’s commitment to provide in-person instruction for our students is uncompromising. Our schools can remain open, we can do our jobs to continue delivering Yonkers’ children a quality education, and we must do it with fidelity.
Every adult is expected to ensure, to the best of their ability, the safety of their colleagues and students. No adult has the right to selfishly ignore the CDC guidelines and potentially sacrifice another individual’s health and wellbeing.
All staff must comply with the following at all times while at work:
- Wear face coverings at all times when you are not alone in your classroom or office.
- All staff meetings, including teacher-planning time, should be done virtually, unless otherwise required by an administrator.
- No staff members should gather for more than 10 minutes, unless otherwise necessary.
- Social distancing among staff and students must be observed at all times throughout the school building, including during lunch and preps.
To maintain in-person instruction requires relentless work and commitment on the part of everyone. Willful violation of the above noted guidelines cannot be tolerated for the sake of everyone’s health and safety. Schools are the heart and lifeline of a community. We educate, protect, feed and nurture the next generation. The pandemic has magnified the vital importance of our jobs and, therefore, we must embrace this significant responsibility. This is not the time to take this obligation lightly. Now is the time for each of us to demonstrate compassion and vigilance for what is right for our learning community.
Stay safe. Thank you for your continued support.
Dr. Edwin M. Quezada