November 2020

-URGENT- ORANGE ZONE DESIGNATION-


Dear St. Mark Families:

This afternoon, Governor Cuomo announced that Buffalo and other parts of WNY are now considered an ORANGE ZONE. 

For St. Mark School, this means we will be transitioning to our fully remote Distance Learning model beginning tomorrow, Thursday, November 19, 2020. There will be no in person instruction tomorrow or Friday.

As stated in the Monday Message sent to all stakeholders on November 9, faculty will require two days to transition from the hybrid in-person model to a fully remote Distance Learning model. Therefore, Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November 20 will consist of asynchronous learning assignments posted to Google Classroom and communicated by the teachers.

Tomorrow and Friday the school will only be open for parents and students to pick up materials that may have been left behind or may be needed for assignments. Cohort A students and parents may come in tomorrow to get materials. Cohort B students and parents may come on Friday, November 20 to get materials. This schedule is to avoid the mixing of cohort members when picking up materials. Masks and social distancing practices will be required.

Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24 will consist of full days of virtual learning from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. Thanksgiving Break will be observed November 25, 26 and 27.

The following information is directly from the NYS Micro-cluster Initiative Orange Zone mandates:

It is mandatory that all schools move to 100% remote instruction. Remote instruction must be implemented for 4 calendar days after the zone designation is announced. On the 5th calendar day or after, schools that wish to reopen must test 100% of the students, teachers, and staff wishing to return to in-person learning and only those with negative tests may return to the building. Students and staff who are COVID positive or close contacts of COVID positive cases must be appropriately excluded from school and the test results must be no more than 7 days past the due date of specimen collection to the in-person learning reopens and specimen collection must be after the date the zone was established. In order to remain open, 25% of the in-person school community must be tested each week and that 25% of individuals must not have been previously tested until the fifth week of testing. Schools that cannot meet the reopening requirements must remain in remote learning for the duration of the zone designation.

The Distance Learning model will be in place for as long as Buffalo is a designated orange or red zone or until St. Mark School may be able to meet the stringent testing requirements outlined above.  

We are extremely grateful for all of the parents and families who volunteered to get their children COVID tested this week. We understand the strain this has put on families and how difficult a process it has been.

We will continue to keep all stakeholders informed of any and all information pertaining to the duration of the Distance Learning model and other updates.

The health and safety of our community is the utmost importance. Please be safe and be well.

Sincerely,

R. Clemens & H. McCarthy

_______________________________________
Recap:

Thursday 11/19/20: Asynchronous learning communicated by teachers, School closed to in-person learning, Cohort A may pick up materials

Friday 11/20/20: Asynchronous learning communicated by teachers, School closed to in-person learning, Cohort B may pick up materials

Monday 11/23/20: 8:30am-2:00 pm synchronous & asynchronous learning for all students

Tuesday 11/24/20: 8:30am-2:00 pm synchronous & asynchronous learning for all students

Wednesday 11/25/20--Friday 11/27/20: Thanksgiving Break -No School

Monday 11/30/20--date TBD: 8:30am-2:00 pm synchronous & asynchronous learning for all students

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