HCSD Fall 2021 updates and protocols: Aug. 12, 2021

August 12, 2021

Dear Warrior Families,

I hope everyone is having an amazing summer! I certainly miss our students and cannot wait to hear about their summer experiences. 

As you may have heard from the media, the New York State Department of Health does not plan to offer additional guidance to school superintendents related to reopening schools this fall. However, earlier this week, Oswego County communicated that there is an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in our area. Although I may receive some guidance from the New York State Department of Education, I am confident that they will encourage us to fully open our schools 100% and do our best to prevent the transmission of any illness within our school.

I am committed to providing your family with the safest experience I can this year and will follow the strong recommendations that I have received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics and our own medical doctor to make the best decisions I can. I understand at this time there are many opinions related to responding to COVID-19, but ultimately I accept that the decisions made to create optimal conditions rest on my shoulders.

I am pleased to share that the Hannibal Central School District is prepared to open with 100% capacity, with our traditional schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. Recognizing that we still have a substantial rate of transmission in our county, we will open the school year with the following plan:

Fall Reopening Plan (as of August 12, 2021):

  • All Hannibal Central School District programs will be in-person five days a week. (CiTi BOCES will also operate their full program.)

  • Masks are required for all individuals (faculty, staff and students) for all indoor activities and while on school busses, regardless of vaccination status.

  • I am mandating hourly mask breaks for our entire school community.

  • We will continue wearing masks until transmission rates decrease to a level our medical doctor determines is safe for us to make the transition to not wearing masks.

  • Masks are currently not required for any outdoor events.

  • We will provide as much physical distancing as a classroom allows us to have based on enrollment and encourage healthy habits like frequent handwashing.

  • We will continue to take everyone’s temperature upon entry to our buildings (including BOCES) each day.

  • No faculty, staff, student, or visitor should enter our buildings when having any symptoms of COVID-19 (Temperature of 100 degrees or higher; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle/body aches; headache; loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; or nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.)

    We recognize certain individuals may have some of these symptoms due to other medical conditions such as allergies. If this is the case, continue to have your medical provider send a letter to your child’s school nurse. 

Everyone in Hannibal recognizes that this is our first big step towards being “normal.” Although nothing is perfect, I believe it is in our students’ best interests to re-establish routines and fully engage in their learning this September.

On Monday, Aug. 16 through Thursday, Aug. 19, I am clearing my entire schedule to allow parents/guardians to schedule a phone, Zoom or in-person meeting with me to discuss any specific medical or instructional consideration that may be specific to their family. You may schedule a meeting with me by calling my secretary, Mrs. Wakefield, at (315) 564-8100 extension 8.  

We will continue to keep you updated regarding updates that I receive via our weekly newsletter that I send out each Friday via email. I will also post those newsletters on our website for easy access.

I wish you all a great August and cannot wait to begin reconnecting with all of you over the next few months!

With Purple Pride,

Christopher A. Staats