Penfield transitions to online learning due to rising COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) – Penfield Central School District is transitioning to fully remote learning on Thursday due to a rising in COVID-19 cases.

According to a letter sent out to families by school officials, students and employees continue to contract the virus outside of school, and it has had an impact on specifically on the transportation staff.

“Due to the overall shortage of drivers we have been experiencing (even before COVID), we are currently unable to transport all students to and from school. We have used every available person, including bus mechanics and dispatchers, to fill routes, but have reached the point where we will not be able to complete all runs.

Therefore, we will be temporarily moving to 100% remote instruction for all students starting tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 17 through Tuesday, Dec. 22. Please watch for emails from your building principals and classroom teachers regarding specific instructional plans. This change is temporary, and we plan to return to our hybrid schedule as of Jan. 4.”

Monroe County Department of Public Health officials reported 680 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday — the largest single-day increase to date.

The seven-day rolling average for Monroe County is now 627 new cases per day. The county’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate is 8.8%, up from Tuesday’s 8.7%.

The full letter that when to Penfield families is below:

Dear Penfield Families,

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the community, we have seen an increase in the number of students and employees who have contracted the illness outside of school. Specifically, our transportation staff has been significantly impacted due to four confirmed cases of COVID-19. Due to the overall shortage of drivers we have been experiencing (even before COVID), we are currently unable to transport all students to and from school. We have used every available person, including bus mechanics and dispatchers, to fill routes, but have reached the point where we will not be able to complete all runs.

Therefore, we will be temporarily moving to 100% remote instruction for all students starting tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 17 through Tuesday, Dec. 22. Please watch for emails from your building principals and classroom teachers regarding specific instructional plans. This change is temporary, and we plan to return to our hybrid schedule as of Jan. 4.

While we recognize that some families are able to transport their children to school, as a public school district we are required to provide transportation for all students and cannot maintain in-person school for some families and not others.

We realize that this sudden change in schedule will create difficulties for some families, but unfortunately it cannot be avoided. We appreciate your efforts to ensure that your children continue to attend school remotely through Tuesday, Dec. 22.  Please reach out to your principal if you have any questions or concerns.

For those families who need school meals, breakfast and lunch will still be available for pick up at each school from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm on Dec. 17, 18, 21 and 22.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to face this challenging time together.

Thomas K. Putnam, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

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