South Jefferson students returning to daily, in-person instruction this fall

South Jefferson High School

ADAMS, N.Y. (WWTI) — Students in the South Jefferson Central School District will be returning to a more “normal” schedule this year.

On August 18, South Jefferson Superintendent Scott Slater published a community update and accompanying video to announced that the District is returning to five-day, in-person instruction. South Jefferson previously followed a hybrid instruction model during the 2020-2021 school year.

With this update, Slater provided preliminary information regarding COVID-19 quarantines and contact tracing. This includes guidance stating that if a student or faculty has symptoms, they are to remain home. If a student presents symptoms at school, they will be isolated and sent home. Students are permitted to return to school if a health care provider offers an alternate diagnosis or a negative COVID-19 test is presented.

If a student is deemed a close contact through Public Health contact tracing, the individual will be required to quarantine for 14 days unless they are both vaccinated and symptom-free.

As defined by public health, a close contact can be a student that has been within six feet of an infected student or teacher for 15 or more minutes. Students who are properly masked and within three feet of each other will not be considered a close contact.

Regarding transportation, requirements now match mandates for public transportation, All students and staff riding South Jefferson busses will be required to wear a face mask.

Slater also ensured that COVID testing will be available nearby. He confirmed that the North Country Family Health Center school-based clinic in Mannsville has the ability to offer a rapid PCR test to students, if needed.

Additionally, remote learning will remain open to student with certain health conditions. Slater stated that this service will most likely be offered through a partnership with Jefferson-Lewis BOCES. A survey for this option is available on the South Jefferson website.

Superintendent Slater also listed the District’s hopes for the upcoming school year. This included increased vaccine eligibility, flexibility surrounding mask wearing and keeping doors open district-wide for in-person instruction.

To allow for this reopening, Slater confirmed that the District is abiding by guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York State Department of Health and Jefferson County Public Health.

South Jefferson Central School District will begin its 2021-2022 school year on Tuesday, September 7. Superintendent Slater’s full community update can be watched in the player below.

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