The Mount Vernon City School District announced Monday, December 20th that all classes will move to virtual instruction beginning on Wednesday, December 22nd in response to the spike in COVID-19 cases, both in the region and in the schools. The announcement – which can be found on the district’s website – states that schools will reopen on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, but warns that extended closures may be necessary so please plan accordingly just in case.)
To the Mount Vernon City School District Community,
I hope that this letter finds you well, and I wish there were a way to soften this information, but it is essential that we are responsive to the changes that COVID-19 has recently brought upon us. We have all been watching as Broadway closed, professional sports have been affected, and some states (Maryland) have moved to remote learning. We have also seen an increase in our positive cases and quarantines. I have been very reluctant to close schools, but given the current trends in COVID cases, it would be risky not to do so.
Please be advised that we will be going to 100% virtual instruction beginning Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021. Schools will reopen on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022. (Please note: Extended closures may be necessary so please plan accordingly just in case.) Instruction shall be provided regularly during the closure. Please note students must log on during their regular school day during this closure as we must report attendance to the state. Failure to maintain satisfactory attendance during this remote period may necessitate reducing the spring break to make up days. This can be avoided by ensuring full attendance during virtual instruction.
Grab and Go breakfast and lunch will be available as follows:
•All schools will provide grab and go breakfast/lunches on Wednesday, December 22nd, December 23rd, and January 4th, 2022 -January 14th, 2022
•Grab and go will be available from 8 am to 10 am
•You may pick up multi-days at once to avoid the need to come back and forth each day.
We expect all students and staff to be tested before returning on January 18th, 2022, and we expect to implement weekly testing thereafter. The test is a saliva-based PCR specimen. We are not using the invasion nasal swab testing method. To that end, staff and students may pick up a COVID test kit at their school on Monday, January 3rd, 2022, or Tuesday, January 4th, 2022. The specimen must be returned to the school on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022, 8:30 am-11:00 am.
Students must have a consent form signed by a parent under 18 years of age on file to have their specimen submitted to the lab for testing. If you have already submitted a consent form, you do not need to submit an additional one. If you elect to have your testing done through a local facility, you may do so and submit your negative test result to your school principal, but it must be dated no later than Wednesday, January 5th, 2022.
I am grateful to our faculty, staff, administration, and board for their responsiveness to the community’s needs. Please be mindful of the changes taking place each day and that our school employees are doing a lot to keep up with those changes. I want to thank everyone for forging forward positively with contingency plans in place. Our children are at the receiving end of these efforts – a noble goal for all of us to aspire toward.
Despite these circumstances, I extend the warmest holiday greetings to you and hope you have a safe, pleasant, COVID-free holiday.
Yours for the sake of ALL children
Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton
Superintendent of Schools
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.