Sunrise Smart Start: Wednesday, December 22

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Wednesday, December 22, 2021.

In a notice posted to the district’s website, and in a Twitter thread Tuesday afternoon, the district posted in part: “With positive COVID cases on the rise, we are asking all students to bring home their technology during the break. While no decision has been made to shift to remote learning, we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared.”

RCSD schools will be closed for the winter break beginning Friday December 24 with instruction set to resume on Monday, January 3. 

The district added in the thread “At this time, we anticipate returning in-person on January 3.”

The district is also calling families to deliver that information, and emailing students in grades 7-12.

“These are very uncertain times,” says Dr. Adam Urbanski, the Teachers Union President.

Urbanski says it seems everyone is having difficulty shaking off coronavirus and its mutations. “The newest variant is much more contagious than the prior ones,” he says.

Urbanski says this is good planning by the district but hopes physical learning will remain. “We all agree: Children learn best in-person, and children want to be in school.”

Urbanski says what matters above all, is the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff. The choice to make he says is easy. “We have to err on the side of caution. We can’t witness outbreaks,” he says.

The internal investigation report concluded that a field sobriety test should have been conducted on the chief by responding officers and that a number of policies were violated on the night of the crash.

Seven of the ten Greece police officers who were under investigation for their alleged roles into the investigation of the former chief’s crash are being recommended for disciplinary action or demotion.

In the report, Morabito concluded a number of Greece Police Department policies were violated, adding that measures in the Code of Ethics, Oath of Office, and vehicle and traffic laws were not followed.

Officers with Greece police arrived at the scene of the accident to investigate. Forsythe was not given any sort of sobriety test and was not checked for drunk driving, authorities said.

“I am especially concerned since learning that former Chief Forsythe was not administered a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test that would have been routinely performed on civilians,” Relich said last month. “Simply put, I am outraged.”

“Mr. Forsythe did not stay at the crash, nor did he report the crash as soon as physically able,” Doorley said last month. “He continued to drive.”

Morabito wrote that certain Greece police members failed to disclose “pertinent information” at the scene that was “critical to the assessment of reasonable suspicion.”

According to the Rochester Fire Department, someone called 911 around 3:48 p.m. after seeing smoke coming out of the house.

Firefighters arriving on scene within 3 minutes found smoke pouring from the first floor window.

Firefighters were able to put out a fire on the first floor of the home. No one was home at the time.

The structure was a total loss however, leaving three adults and three children without a home.

Firefighters say they found no working smoke alarms inside. The RFD is reminding any Rochester resident who needs a smoke alarm to call 311, and firefighters will install one.

The vaccine for this age group was only approved in early November, but pediatricians are encouraging more families to get their kids vaccinated, especially as the Omicron variant spreads. 

“We’re still seeing significant mortality from COVID-19 in children. This past week, the AAP data from the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that 38 kids died of COVID-19 in the last week in only those 45 states that report COVID-19 deaths in children,” Cifra said.

Since early November, Dr Lewis said he been administering the vaccine to children in his practice. He said because he’s a sole practitioner, he often has higher vaccine rates than state or national numbers.

“The 5 to 11-year-old group has been wonderful. We have exceeded my expectations in terms of families that would be early adopters of a vaccine or get it in the first round. To date, we have given about 480 doses out, we have immunized a good number of kids with second doses already,” Dr. Lewis said. 

Last week, cases among kids in the U.S. rose 26% according to AAP. With Omicron spreading, Dr. Denk hopes more kids will get the shot. 

“This one is certainly more contagious. It may not be worse as far as severity goes, we’re seeing a lot of kids getting it and again, occasionally, there’s a child who gets it who was quite sick with it,” said Denk said. 

Cifra added many pediatricians she knows have already gotten their kids vaccinated, something that she hopes can provide parents with some peace. 

“I think that’s very telling because we know that these vaccines are safe and effective and the pediatricians are doing everything that they can to protect not only their patients, but their own children as well,” Cifra said. 

State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said this cancellation applies to all regents exams that had been scheduled for the January 2022 regents exam period.

Officials say no decisions have been made regarding the June and August 2022 administrations of regents or any other state assessment programs.

“Educators, school staff, communities, and families have taken painstaking efforts to ensure a safe and healthy school year,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester Young, Jr. “Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, the recent acceleration in COVID-19 infections, and continuing upheaval the virus has caused in schools across the state, this decision is the right one.”

Under the proposed emergency regulations, students who are planning to take one or more Regents Examinations during the January 2022 examination period at the conclusion of a course of study or make-up program shall be exempt from the requirements pertaining to passing a corresponding Regents Examination to be issued a diploma.

NYSED is developing additional guidance in the form of an FAQ and will issue that guidance in early January 2022 to address topics such as safety net options, mastery, honors, and technical endorsements so that schools may determine which diplomas to grant to their graduates.

Much of this year has been dominated by the coronavirus pandemic — locally, nationally, beyond — but there were other important moments that this community will not soon forget, and some others we’d rather not remember.

This Rochester Rewind is a look back at some of those moments from the year that was in our corner of the world, in chronological order.

Wednesday will stay in the low 30s for what will feel like the whole day. 30-40 mph winds come could in the latter part of the evening with partly cloudy skies up above.

Thursday will follow suit and bring a slither of hope to a snowy Christmas. Some scattering of snow may hit Rochester but will not accumulate. Degrees will hover in the mid 30s with some touches of the sun.

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