Dear Berlin families,

Yesterday (September 2nd), the New York State Department of Health finally issued interim guidance for classroom instruction this school year and a Commissioner’s Determination on COVID testing in schools.

The 12-page guidance document addresses the minimum expectations for instruction and operations. Many of our health and safety protocols will remain the same from last year – and the new DOH regulations are consistent with the most recent CDC guidance. In fact, the guidance document recommended that schools review their prior year’s plans, eliminate outdated measures, and adopt current CDC recommendations (which we had already done).

At this time, we are working together with local school districts and our county department of health to facilitate the staffing, supplies and information that will be required to implement the Commissioner’s Determination on the testing of students and staff as soon as practicable to ensure a safe environment for our students and staff. Funding for this has not been released by the state to allow schools to fulfill this new requirement. We will notify you of the information on testing as soon as possible.

If your child is vaccinated please send proof of the vaccination to our head nurse Ms. Michele Corsey

Another point to note is that NYS DOH and RCDOH have adopted the CDC guidance that students who are within 3-6 ft of each other and are wearing well-fitted masks are not considered as close contact (#11 in the Interim Guidance).

As more information is released I will make sure to communicate those with you. We need to continue being flexible, adaptive, and patient as we work through this.

Thank you and have a great Labor Day weekend.

Joseph Dhara

Superintendent of Schools

Berlin Central School District