Letter to Families & Staff; 02-11-2022

Dear Families,   

This letter contains important information from our district and has: 

New Information = 

  • RCS Request for Guidance Surrounding Ease of COVID Restrictions

  • Spring 2022 Counseling Center Newsletters & National School Counseling Week

Updates =

  • District Celebrations & Stories

  • Upcoming Important Dates 

Reminders = 

  • Take-Home COVID Test Expiration Date Extended for CareStart Test

  • District Launches Fundraising Webpage

  • RCS COVID-19 Lab Testing 

  • COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Protocol

  • Online Form to Report Negative COVID Test Result Affirmations

  • Local COVID-19 Vaccination & Testing Sites

  • Direct Links

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

New Information

RCS Request for Guidance Surrounding Ease of COVID Restrictions:  A meeting was held with five local superintendents and a representative of Assembly Member Tague’s office last week. The discussion included a request for guidance that would help schools plan for a step back from the restrictive COVID requirements that are currently in place. We have employed multiple mitigation strategies to keep our staff and students safe over the past two years. As the regulatory landscape shifts, RCS must adapt to continue to ensure a safe educational environment for all. We will keep you apprised of any new information as it becomes available. 

Spring 2022 Counseling Center Newsletters & National School Counseling Week: This week we released the Spring 2022 Counseling Center Newsletters, access them here. We also celebrated National School Counseling Week. The mission of our counseling department is to make meaningful connections with students and families, while providing them with the best support and opportunities possible. You can read more about how their job has changed over the years 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:

Upcoming Important Dates (Click here to access the RCS calendar)

  • Wednesday, February 16: Next Board of Education Meeting. Approximate public meeting start time, 6:30 p.m.

  • Monday, February 21 - Friday, February 25: February Recess, no school PK-12. 

  • Monday, February 21: All RCS schools and the District Office will be closed for President’s Day.

  • Wednesday, March 2: Board of Education Meeting. Approximate public meeting start time, 6:30 p.m.

  • Friday, March 4: End of the second trimester (PK-5)

  • Friday, March 11: End of third five-week interim period (MS/HS)

  • Wednesday, March 16 and Thursday, March 17: Parent Conference Day, early dismissal PK-8 only. 


Take-Home COVID Test Expiration Date Extended: If you received a CareStart take-home antigen test from RCS, the expiration date has been extended by three months per the FDA. For example, tests labeled with an expiration date of  January 2022 are now good through April 30, 2022. 

Families who want an at-home test kit can pick them up from the main office of any school building during school hours. These tests were still available as of 2/11/22. More information about these tests can be found here

District Launches Fundraising Webpage: Last week we launched our District Fundraising page on our website, you can access it here. This will be a central location for our school community to view current fundraisers and details about each. There is also a google form for organizations to submit their pre-approved fundraisers to be listed on the webpage. Click here to see a list of the current fundraisers! 

COVID-19 Lab Testing at RCS: As you know, RCS offers diagnostic symptomatic testing at RCS so that students and staff can return to school quicker after exhibiting COVID-like symptoms. This testing is also available to students and staff who are asymptomatic. We offer lab tests, not rapid (antigen) or NAAT tests, and they take 24-36 hours to return. Due to the decrease in requests for lab COVID testing through RCS, we offer lab testing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. Contact your student’s nurse to make an appointment. You can find instructions for registering for COVID-19 testing through RCS here

COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Protocol:  You can find the most up-to-date COVID protocols on our website here. The New York Department of Health has provided a chart and FAQ to provide some additional insight into this guidance.  

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

Online Form to Report Negative COVID Test Result Affirmations: RCS provides an online google form, available here, for families and staff to submit negative COVID-19 lab and take-home test result affirmations in order to return to school or work. This is for negative results only. If the individual tests positive, please follow these protocols. Once this form has been submitted, students and staff may return to school as long as they are symptom-free or their symptoms are improving. Their nurse or supervisor will reach out with any questions. 

As an alternative, families, and staff can still submit a copy of the results via email (lab tests) or a paper copy of the affirmation (take-home test) to their nurse/supervisor. The paper affirmation form for take-home tests can be printed off our website or is available for pick up in the vestibule of any RCS school. 

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. 

Direct Links:

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