Superintendent’s Message: Strategic plan, support for students, holiday travel and athletics

Dear DCS Community, 

I hope that you all are well and are enjoying the unseasonably warm November weather we have been having. I am sure that we can’t count on that for much longer! I wanted to give you some important information and wish you all a very happy early Thanksgiving. 

Thank you, as always, for supporting our district by wearing masks, washing your hands, social distancing, and staying home when you aren’t feeling well. We have had tremendous success as a district and it is because of your diligence to these protocols. 

DCS Forward Strategic Plan Online Forum: Like all of you, I am very eager to talk about non-COVID issues. The Board of Education, administration and staff have been working hard to construct a strategic plan for the next few years at DCS. I would like to present it for your feedback at an online forum on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. I hope to see you on Google Meet. Go to https://meet.google.com/ixq-sdrh-qja

Social/Emotional Support Available: This year has been pretty traumatic for all of us, but kids are especially sensitive to the uncertainty and stress they are experiencing. I encourage all DCS students and families to take advantage of the wealth of social and emotional support available at school.  Please explore the resources available on this helpful webpage and reach out today!

Travel Restrictions: To reiterate the email that I sent out Nov. 2, New York State issued travel protocols to follow that impact travelers outside of New York and its contiguous states (Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania or New Jersey). These travelers can take a test three days before returning to New York, quarantine for three days after returning, take a second test on the 4th day and, if this test is negative, return to school. If a traveler does not follow this protocol, they must still quarantine for 14 days. Please contact your school nurse if you are planning on travelling over the holiday season. 

Micro-Cluster Focus Zones: You may already be aware of the state’s color system labeling regions of the state that are experiencing high testing and hospitalization rates. Schools in designated yellow zones must test 20% of its in-person staff and students, which would present significant challenges to any school district or county public health department. Though our rates remain low, please be prepared that an increase to a yellow designation may mean a transition to remote learning for all students if testing requirements are deemed to be beyond our capacity.  I expect to send more information about this topic out in the near future. 

Athletics: Though low and moderate risk sports (bowling for us) have been cleared for the Winter Sports Season, high risk sports like wrestling and basketball have not yet been allowed. If that changes, we will communicate DCS’s plans with you as soon as we can. 

Apparel Sale: The DCS Athletic Boosters have opened up a DCS Eagles winter apparel store.  The store is open until Nov. 22 at midnight.

DCS in the News: There was a great story on WNYT on Tuesday about our Veterans Day Parade at the Elementary School. This was a really special event in support of our local veterans and I’d like to thank everyone involved with its planning. 

Thank you for your continued support of DCS! 

Cheers, 

Dr. James Niedermeier
Superintendent
Duanesburg CSD