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August 27, 2021

Dear Onteora High School Families,

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year. Our faculty and staff are excited to begin the school year in the full-time, in-person learning model. We are hopeful to be able to continue transitioning back to what a normal school year should look like. Although there will be challenges, I am confident that we will work collaboratively to ensure that students are provided with the most safe and nurturing learning environment possible.

I would like to provide you with the following updates/information:

Facilities Improvements
Over the summer, many improvements/renovations occurred: eleven renovated bathrooms, the addition of two new gender-neutral bathrooms, additional water-bottle filling stations, the installation of several new smart panels in classrooms, and preparations to transform several classrooms into active learning spaces. Some of the work will need to be finalized during the school year.

Student Schedules
Student schedules are now available in the student/parent portal. Due to some last-minute staffing changes, some courses may be listed without a teacher’s name. These courses will be updated as soon as possible.

Transportation Information
Transportation schedules are now available on the student/parent portal. Please be sure to re-check your pick-up times for the most accurate information. Please email the transportation department if you do not require transportation from the District.

BOCES Career & Technical Programs
Students enrolled in Ulster BOCES Career and Technical courses will attend their classes in-person beginning on the first day of school.

Website Information
Please visit the high school’s website often, as it is updated often. Some items/forms that have been recently posted include: our annual pesticide notification, military opt-out information, the 2021-22 student-parent handbook, information about school picture day(s), and information about the PSATs.

Building Health and Safety

The following social-distancing guidelines will be in place:

  • As a general rule, social-distancing in classrooms will be at least three feet in classrooms and in the hallways.
  • Social-distancing in physical education classes will be six feet (with masks) when indoors and three feet (masks optional) when outdoors.
  • Social-distancing in chorus will also be six feet, with specially-designed chorus masks.
  • Social-distancing in wind ensemble (band) will be three feet with specially-designed instrument covers and masks that have both been designed to further mitigate any potential risks.
  • Additional spaces have been created for students to eat during lunch periods, which include the cafeteria, the middle school gym, and outdoor seating under tents. Students will be situated at least three feet from one another. Desk shields will also be placed on all indoor tables between students.

As a reminder, the following health and safety protocols will be in place:

  • Prior to arriving at school, parents will check their student’s temperature and complete the online form the morning your student comes to school. The link is https://entry.neric.org/onteora. Please complete this form on your student’s phone or Chromebook.
  • Students must bring their Chromebooks and power cords to school. We do not have any extra devices. Ninth grade students will receive their Chromebooks on the first two days of school.
  • While on district transportation, all students are required to wear masks.
  • On arrival, students will display their “approval screens” on their phone or Chromebook, and have a temperature screening. Students who do not pass the screening will be sent to the nurse.
  • After passing through the screening, students may proceed to either the cafeteria for breakfast or to their first period classroom.
  • Breakfast and lunch meals are free to all students. However, if a student would like to purchase items separately from a meal (water, extra pizza, ice cream, etc.) they will need to have money on their account. The cafeteria is not providing cash/change for purchases. Items should be paid for with exact change, and anything above the purchase price will be saved to the student’s account for future use.
  • No hallway lockers or gym lockers will be assigned. Students will not be changing for physical education classes, but must have proper footwear to participate.
  • Students must wear masks and social distance at all times while in the building.
  • All water fountains have been disabled. However, water bottle filling stations are available throughout the building.

 

I hope that everyone enjoys the remaining days of the summer. I look forward to seeing our students return to the building for the first day of school on September 8.

 

Sincerely,

Lance Edelman
High School Principal