Monday Dec. 14, 2020Good morning everyone.I hope you are having a wonderful Monday morning.First, update - as of 7:00 AM, all of our Google products are down! This is a system/world-wide event. Hopefully, Google resolves this issue soon!Even though we are planning to participate in Nordic Skiing with Johnsburg (which is scheduled to start today), we can't begin our participation because we are all virtual. This is guidance directly from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.I am very sorry that this is the case. When I get more information, I will follow up.Stay tuned. Be safe.Kyle H. McFarland
Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020Good evening everyone! I hope you have had a nice Sunday so far. This is Mr. McFarland.We have managed to have main office coverage for tomorrow. Ms. Lynn will be answering calls and helping get materials together. There will likely be one or two other people available to help gather materials.For Monday: if you need any materials or technology, please either call the school, email Mrs. Green or me, or post here on Facebook. Because our transportation status is still unknown due to the quarantine, tomorrow will be pick-up only. I want to thank you for helping out with this.I am working with Mrs. Smith to do a "bulk" pick-up (or possibly a delivery if transportation comes back online) for food. We are thinking that a box of food would be ready on Tuesday (for Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday AM), a box of food on Friday (for the weekend and Monday), and then a final box of food on Tuesday (December 22nd). If you are interested in this, please contact the office, email, or post here. We will work to make this happen.Thank you again for all of your understanding.Have a great Sunday evening and be safe.Kyle H. McFarland
Friday, Dec. 11, 2020Good morning everyone.This is Kyle McFarland, Superintendent of Minerva Central School, with an important message. I apologize for the short notice.Minerva Central School has been notified by the Essex County Department of Health that we have another confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in the school. Please note that this case IS NOT related to our previous case. Due to these conditions, and based on the recommendation and guidelines from Essex County Department of Health, and out of an abundance of caution for all individuals' safety, the decision has been made to close the building and transition to remote instruction for all students until JANUARY 4th. I truly wish that I had other options, but I want to keep the children, families, faculty, and staff safe at Minerva. Essex County will begin contact tracing today or tomorrow.Please note that a decision has not been made about their program for out-of-district students (BOCES full-day program and Early College Program). We are working to see if we will have the resources to provide transportation.We are sending all of our elementary students home at 11:00 AM. Phone calls are being made right now to make sure that there is someone home. We will not drop off a student without hearing from a parent or guardian. All elementary students will be sent with technology and materials they would need for remote instruction through December.For our middle and high school students, if you need your technology, please let us know. We are trying to make accommodations to get these to you, but it may not be until Monday or Tuesday.Again, this is part of my commitment to keeping you informed during these uncertain times. However, privacy laws restrict the school from disclosing or confirming any personally identifiable information. Therefore, we cannot identify by name anyone who has tested positive. The individual who tested positive is in isolation for the recommended time and will not return to the building until cleared by their Department of Health.As I said before, I treat your child’s health like they are my own. I do the same for the faculty and staff in the building.As we receive more information from the Department of Health, we will promptly notify families of our status. Minerva will cooperate with the Department of Health to investigate and contact trace this case.When there is further information about this situation, updates will be provided for you. Please check the website and social media for updates as well.We understand that this is extremely short notice. We will work with all families to ensure that this transition is as smooth as possible.Thank you for all of the support. Please be safe.Kyle H. McFarland
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020
This is Kyle McFarland, Superintendent of Minerva Central School with an important message. I apologize for the short notice and the robocall that limits me to only 60-seconds.
Minerva Central School has been notified by the Essex County Department of Health that we have a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in the school. Due to these conditions, and based on the recommendation and guidelines from Essex County Department of Health the decision has been made to close the building and transition to remote instruction for all students for the next two days, Wednesday, December 9th and Thursday, December 10th. This will allow Minerva to deep-clean and sanitize the entire building and work with Essex County to do contact tracing. We plan to return to our current model of in-person/hybrid instruction on Friday, December 11th if given the OK by Essex County Department of Health.
Please note that all out-of-district students (BOCES full-day program and Early College Program) will be bused by the district for their classes as usual. Students who attend BOCES half-day will be all remote.
This notification is part of my commitment to keeping you informed during these uncertain times. However, privacy laws restrict the school from disclosing or confirming any personally identifiable information. Therefore, we cannot identify by name anyone who has tested positive. The individual who tested positive is in isolation for the recommended time and will not return to the building until cleared by their Department of Health.
As we receive more information from the Department of Health, we will promptly notify families of our status. Minerva will cooperate with the Department of Health to investigate and contact trace this case.
When there is further information about this situation, updates will be provided for you. Please check the website and social media for updates as well.
We understand that this is extremely short notice. We will work with all families tomorrow to ensure that this short transition is as smooth as possible.
Thank you for all of the support. Please be safe.
Kyle H. McFarland
Wednesday, Dec., 2, 2020
I hope this letter finds you well. With the possibility of the State making any county a “yellow zone,” I want to share information with you. Although our school community has done a remarkable job in maintaining a healthy environment with presumably no school-based transmissions and a very low infection rate overall, our greater geographic region is seeing an increase in infection rates. To be clear, Minerva Central School has not had any positive cases to date, and we are not in a “yellow-zone”. However, due to local circumstances, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.68 requiring precautionary action in communities located in a “yellow zone,” including mandatory testing of students and school personnel in compliance with Department of Health guidance.
DOH guidance requires that schools open to in-person instruction in yellow zones test 20% of in-person students, teachers, and staff at least once a week, for as long as the school remains in a designated yellow zone. It continues to be our goal to be open to in-person instruction. Therefore, we must comply with this order from the state.
Here’s what you need to know:
- We will not test your child without your consent and prior knowledge.
- The test itself is non-invasive, simple, and quick. Although a nasal swab is used for this test, it is shallow and done very quickly. It has been described as not much different than someone picking their nose. As indelicate as that description may be, it seems like a relatable example in the school population. It is not the PCR test that has been uncomfortable for many to endure. A certified or licensed medical professional (CNA, LPN, or RN) will administer the test and provide the results.
- We will test 20% of our in-person population per week. We will notify you at least the day before your child is tested.
- If you have not consented to a test, your child will not be tested. Those refusing to consent to a test will NOT be excluded from school or required to be remote learners. Although we hope that most, if not all, students will participate, this will not be required.
- The District will randomly sample from throughout the list of those who have consented to testing. We will rotate through the building and be as efficient as possible in the testing of students.
- Students and staff chosen for testing will be retrieved and be brought to a large space in the building. They will be given the test and immediately returned to their class. We will make this a very quick process to minimize time out of class. Due to the daily screening, everyone in person is presumed to be negative. Taking the test doesn’t change that, and participants continue to be presumed negative. If a positive test result occurs, the student will be asked to report to the nurse’s office. The procedure for isolating and contacting the family for physician follow-up will be followed.
- We are hoping for your consent! Please fill out and return the attached consent form. Similar to the daily screening form, you will have to consent for each of your children.
Thank you in advance for all of your continued support during these times and for considering participation. We are hopeful that everyone joins in this effort but respect your decisions regarding your child’s health.
Best wishes for continued good health, and please continue to take the steps you have taken so well in keeping everyone healthy.
Stay healthy, monitor your symptoms, practice good hand and respiratory hygiene, stay distanced, and stay masked.
Kyle H. McFarland.
Superintendent of Schools
Consent For Rapid COVID-19 Testing
The Minerva Central School District (the “District”) is seeking your consent to test your child for COVID-19 infection. If you consent, your child may receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus that will be administered by a certified or licensed medical provider (CNA, LPN, or RN). A rapid COVID-19 test will be used, which will involve inserting a small swab, similar to a Q-Tip, into the front of the nose. We will notify you if your child tests positive for COVID-19. Any students who test positive will be sent home and must be kept at home until meeting the Essex County Department of Public Health criteria to return to school. Please contact your child’s doctor immediately to review the test results should your child test positive for COVID-19.
Please enter your child’s full name and birth date:
- Name: ___________________________ DOB: ______________
- Name: __________________________ DOB: _______________
- Name: _________________________DOB: ________________
- Name: _________________________ DOB: _______________
The law requires and/or allows some information about your child to be shared with Essex County and New York State Public Health Agencies. This includes notifying the Essex County Department of Public Health about the COVID-19 results of each student who is tested, including the student’s name, date of birth, race, ethnicity, gender, address, phone number, and result of the COVID-19 test.
By signing below, I attest that:
- I have signed this form freely and voluntarily, and I am legally authorized to make decisions for the child named above.
- I authorize the Minerva Central School District to test my child for COVID-19 infection.
- I understand that my child may be tested multiple times during the 2020-2021 school year.
- I understand that this consent form will be valid through June 30, 2021, unless I revoke such consent in writing.
- I authorize my child’s test results and other information to be disclosed to any governmental entity as may be required or permitted by law.
- I acknowledge that a positive test result will require my child to be sent home from school and remain at home until he/she meets the criteria to return to school according to the Essex County Department of Public Health.
- I understand that this testing does not replace treatment by my child’s medical provider, and I assume complete and full responsibility to take appropriate action regarding my child’s test results. I agree that I will seek medical advice, care, and treatment for my child from his/her medical provider if I have questions or concerns or if I become ill or my condition worsens.
- I understand that, as with any medical test, there is the potential for a false positive or false negative COVID-19 test result.
Name of Parent/Guardian Providing Consent
- Name: __________________________ Date:: ______________
September 16, 2020 - Fall Sports
Dear MCS Students, Parents and Community Members:
After careful consideration and discussion with the Board of Education, we have made the decision to delay the start of our fall sports season. Given the typical length of the fall season and because it has already been delayed by nearly a full month, it is not very likely that a fall season will be possible this school year. While not completely out of the question, it’s just not very likely.
Be assured, we continue to be committed to supporting interscholastic athletics; however, we feel that the health and safety of our student-athletes, students, staff, and school community is better protected by holding off, at least for now. We understand how disappointing this is for many of our student-athletes and their families, but we must keep health and safety at the forefront of our decisions. We have already met with our fall student-athletes and explained this difficult decision with them. While disappointed, I believe they understand why this decision was made.
Minerva, along with our athletic program partner, Johnsburg, joins a growing list of schools in our area who agree that resuming athletics right now is not in the best interest of our school community. We will continue to monitor this situation at the state, section, and league levels and hope to be able to resume our program soon. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Timothy Farrell Candice Husson