Letter to Families & Staff; 03-11-2022

Dear Families,   

This letter contains important information from our district and has: 

New Information = 

  • RCS Principals Meet with Community Partners about Workforce Development

  • Upcoming Grade 3 through 8 NYS Testing

  • Student Support Resources Reminder

Updates =

  • District Celebrations & Stories

  • Upcoming Important Dates 

Reminders = 

  • Information Regarding Mask Mandate

  • Take-Home COVID Tests Still Available at RCS

  • RCS COVID-19 Lab Testing

  • COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Protocol

  • Online Form to Report Negative COVID Test Result Affirmations

  • Direct Links

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

New Information

RCS Principals Meet with Community Partners about Workforce Development: Over break, Pieter B. Coeymans Principal Hakim Jones and High School Principal Dr. Lisa Patierne met with local business TCI of NY, the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, and town officials to tour TCI and discuss local workforce development strategies. The discussion centered around providing opportunities for our RCS students to access jobs and job training. They also discussed new partnerships, creating more jobs in the future, and ways we can support our students to prepare them for employment upon graduation. This meeting is an extension of the ongoing monthly Workforce Development meetings that Superintendent Dr. Brian Bailey has been attending with the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and local industries.

Upcoming Grade 3 through 8 NYS Testing: We shared a letter last week with elementary and middle school families which included the schedule for the upcoming state testing for students in grades 3 through 8. You can access that letter here. 

Student Support Resources Reminder: There is a lot going on in the world at the moment, including the invasion of Ukraine. We want to remind families and students that we have staff who are available to meet with any students who are struggling or need support, regardless of the concern. Students are welcome to speak with their counselors, social workers, teachers, or administrators about their concerns and we encourage them to do so! Additionally, KidsHealth.org has provided resources for parents to use when speaking with their children about what they are seeing in the news.  


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)

  • 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-grade 8 only.

    • Elementary Schools: Buses depart at 12:30 PM, please note the following for this date: 

      • PM Pre-K students will not be coming to school these days and AM Pre-K students will be dismissed with all other students.

      • Students will eat lunch prior to dismissal. 

      • Parent pick-up will begin at 12:05 PM. 

      • Students who take the bus will be dismissed starting at 12:15 PM.

      • Afterschool childcare programs will be held.

      • Parents/guardians should be prepared for their students to be home 3 hours earlier. 

    • Middle School: Students will dismiss at 11:07 AM and will receive lunch prior to dismissal.

  • Monday, April 4: Staff Development Day, early dismissal PK-12. 

  • Friday, April 8: End of the third marking period (MS/HS). 

  • Friday, April 15 - Friday, April 22: Spring Recess.


Information Regarding Mask Mandate: On Sunday, February 27, Governor Kathy Hochul lifted the statewide mask requirements in schools for Wednesday, March 2. Since then the New York State Department of Health and Education Department has released new guidance to help facilitate this transition. Read more about this new guidance here

Take-Home COVID Tests Still Available at RCS: 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 3/11/22. More information about these tests can be found here

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. 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. 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. 

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.