Letter to Families & Staff; 01-14-2022

Dear Families,    

This letter contains important information from our district and has: 

New information = 

  • Cancellation of the January 22 Regents Exams & Schedule for HS End-of-Semester Assessments

Updates =

  • COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Protocol

  • Take-Home COVID-19 Tests 

  •  COVID-19 Testing at RCS

Reminders = 

  • Upcoming Important Dates

  • RCS Community Communications Survey

  • Important Transportation Safety Reminders

  • District Celebrations & Stories

  • Emergency Closing, Delay, and Dismissal Information Reminders

  • Local COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing Sites

All the information in this letter, from past letters and more, can be found on our website

New information

Cancellation of the January ‘22 Regents Exams & Schedule for HS End-of-Semester Assessments: The New York State Education Department has announced that the Regents exams have been cancelled for January 2022. Please be advised that the RCS High School will now follow its regular daily schedule for Tuesday, January 25 through Friday, January 28. Students should report to school on their normal schedule for these days. Classes will take any end-of-semester and final assessments during their designated class time, you can find the schedule for those exams here. CTE students will attend their programs this week as normal.


Updates to COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Protocol:  We shared some updated guidance with families on Monday, but since then the guidance has continued to be adjusted. In order to be able to properly inform our community regarding these additional changes and answer any questions they may have, we will be sending new information out early next week. 

Please remember that if a student or staff member is sick, they should not come to school/work that day.  

Take-Home COVID-19 Tests: Last week we shared a notification with families regarding the state-provided at-home COVID test kits. Families who want an at-home test kit can pick up one per student from the main office of any school building during school hours. Tests can be picked up from one school if you have students in different schools. Families who do not have the means to pick up a test can contact their student’s Principal to make arrangements. These tests were still available as of 1/14/22. As a reminder, take-home rapid tests and over-the-counter (OTC) tests are not currently accepted as proof of a negative result when student/staff are ill. The at-home tests can only be used to confirm a positive COVID-19 case at this time. 

COVID-19 Testing at RCS: Before the break, we announced that we had begun diagnostic symptomatic testing at RCS so that students and staff could return to school quicker after exhibiting COVID-like symptoms. This testing is now available to students and staff who are not symptomatic as well. We offer lab tests, not rapid (antigen) or NAAT tests, and they take 24-36 hours to return. Contact your student’s nurse to make an appointment. Due to the new guidance cutting quarantine to 5 days, we will no longer be utilizing the test to out of quarantine program. You can find instructions for registering for COVID-19 testing through RCS here


Upcoming Important Dates (Click here to access RCS calendar)

  • Monday, January 17: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School. 

  • Friday, January 28: End of 2nd Marking Period (MS/HS).

  • Thursday, February 3: Staff Development Day, Early Dismissal PK-12.

  • Monday, February 21 - Friday, February 25: February Recess

RCS Community Communications Survey: We launched a Communications Survey just before the holiday recess for parents, students, staff, and the greater RCS community to gain a better understanding of what communication methods and practices are preferred and used by the community. This survey will be open until end-of-day, Friday, January 14. Everyone in the RCS community is encouraged to participate! You can access it here

Important Transportation Safety Reminders: Earlier last week we shared a letter with families and the community asking them to review our Bus Safety Guidelines and urging motorists to please be careful and cautious around our school buses. You can find that letter here.

District Celebrations & Stories: We highlight different items that are happening around our community on our website and Facebook page. Here are some of the recent stories we have shared:

Emergency Closing, Delay, and Dismissal Information Reminders: As the weather grows colder we are more likely to need to close for the day or open late for weather-related reasons. We will be having snow days this year. Students and staff will not be required to report to school/work virtually or otherwise when we close for a weather-related emergency unless noted differently in their contract. Click here to access weather-related emergency closing, delays, and dismissal information. 

Local COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing Sites: Visit the NY Find a Test Site Near You page to find a complete list of testing sites available. Vaccination continues to be one of the most effective measures we have to keep our schools safe places for learning. To find a vaccination site, visit CDC’s Vaccines.gov or www.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov to make an appointment at a state-run vaccination site. 

If you have any questions about anything covered in the letter, please reach out to your student’s building for clarification. Thank you and have a great weekend,

Brian Bailey, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools