Superintendent's message

Back-to-school message from the superintendent
Posted on 08/18/2021
Superintendent RaceDear families,

Given all the health, safety and guidance information that has been provided to us, including the most recent NYS Education Department guidance document, we are finalizing our plans for the safe return of all students for the 2021-22 school year. We feel strongly that all students returning to full in-person learning is essential. Remote learning highlighted inequities in education across all grade levels. We must have our students present for in-person learning opportunities, but it is imperative that we do it safely.

The district has followed guidance and recommendations from the lead agencies (listed below) on the safe return of all students to in-person instruction:
NYS Education Department
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
American Academy of Pediatrics 
NYS & Local Health Departments
Broome County Officials

As recommendations and guidance change, the district is prepared to adjust its plan accordingly.  We consider this plan to be a living document that will need adjusting as we approach the first day of school and progress through the 2021-22 school year.  

At Johnson City, all students will be returning to in-person learning five days a week. We are strongly recommending all eligible individuals to be vaccinated. This will help protect all students and staff, especially those who are unable to receive the vaccine at this time. We are closely monitoring community data and infection rates and are in close contact with local officials to receive the most up-to-date information related to the COVID-19 virus. We are once again partnering with the Broome County Health Department in performing our contact tracing protocols for any potential positive cases. This information will be communicated via our district website and the JC app as was done last school year.  

Our plan to begin the 2021-22 school year will be as follows:
All students and staff (vaccinated and unvaccinated) will be required to wear masks in our buildings. 
Wearing masks outside will be optional.
Masks will be required on buses. This will allow buses to operate at normal capacity.
Physical distancing will be practiced whenever and wherever possible inside our buildings.
Co-curricular (athletics, music, arts & clubs) activities will be offered with all safety protocols in place, including the above-mentioned bullets beginning on Monday August 23, 2021.
There will be no remote learning option offered at Johnson City Central Schools. A BOCES regional remote academy is being planned for those who may seek exemption from in-person instruction due to a medical necessity.

*If you must consider a remote learning option for your child due to medical reasons, CLICK HERE or contact your child’s school.   

The district is prepared to make any adjustments to its draft plan as guidance changes from state and local agencies. As has been our goal from the beginning, our plan is to provide every student the very best in-person education with safety being priority #1.

Our full guidance document will be made available upon its completion next week. Again, the overall goal for the 2021-22 school year is to maximize in-person teaching and learning, be responsive to student needs, and keep students and staff healthy and safe. 

For questions, email [email protected]

With gratitude, 

Eric Race
Superintendent of Schools
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