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7/30/21: Letter from Superintendent Cimato (7/30/21)

July 30, 2021

Dear Ken-Ton Community,

With so much conflicting information emerging recently, it is my hope to provide our community with a brief update regarding current guidance and requirements as we plan for September. Earlier this week, the CDC released new recommendations that masks be worn indoors by vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in areas with "substantial" or "high" transmission levels. The CDC defines "substantial" as a 7-day average of 50+ cases per 100,000 residents. The Erie County Department of Health has reported the county's most recent 7-day average as 54 cases per 100,000 residents. We know that Erie County is keeping a close eye on this situation and we are confident that they will keep our residents informed as it continues to develop.

As a school district, we are waiting for the New York State Department of Health and NYS Education Department guidance to be released. Typically, this guidance is released shortly after the CDC makes new recommendations. Therefore, we are anticipating new guidance shortly. We will provide an update at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting with any new information we receive in the coming days. Hopefully, I will have clarity and possibly more guidance to share with our community by then. It is important to note that the NYS Education Commissioner, Betty Rosa, released a statement yesterday acknowledging that the Department of Education is waiting for direction from the NYSDOH and Governor's Office before releasing new guidance for school districts. She also encouraged school districts to base their planning on the CDC recommendations and additionally for school communities to be prepared to be open at full capacity in September with traditional 5-day, in-person, K-12 instruction. Please know that Ken-Ton will adhere to the NYS guidance and we will communicate that as soon as it is released, but as I stated before, we are planning on 5-day in-person instruction in September. I ask for our community to remain patient as we have come a long way together and we've always known coming out of the pandemic may be in some ways more challenging than when we first came into it.

A link to my update at the Board meeting will be sent to parents/guardians via email and text message shortly following the meeting on Tuesday night. Additionally, our Board meetings are always livestreamed on our District website at www.ktufsd.org/BOELive. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this ever-changing situation.

Sincerely,

Sabatino Cimato

Superintendent of Schools