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NYS Guidelines Updated for Contact of Positive Case

  • NY State Guidelines have been updated for contacts of a positive case.

    The letter below is what parents will now receive if their student is a contact of a positive COVID case. The changes are in bold.

     

    Dear Parent/Guardian,

    Your student ________________ has been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 in school on ________.  

    Your student is not required to quarantine, but please read the following carefully as these guidelines have been updated by the NYS DOH:

    As a contact of a positive, it is REQUIRED that your student wear a mask at school for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.   

    If your student is fully vaccinated (including all eligible boosters), it is strongly recommended that you test on day 5 after your exposure.   

    If your student is unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or are eligible for booster(s), but have not yet received them they MUST test 5 days after exposure, or if symptoms develop. Also, they may only attend school activities (including extracurriculars) but must quarantine outside of school.

    If your student develops any symptoms, please keep them home from school for 5 days or until they can get tested and symptoms resolve.  If you are in need of a free home Test Kit, please call the school to schedule a time for pick up.

    If you have any questions, please contact the School Nurse’s Office.

     

NYS Guideline Updates

  • Yesterday evening, we received the updated guidance from the NYS Departments of Health and Education.  Here are a few modifications to the guidance previously posted:

    • Any positive individual must isolate at home for 5 days - with a positive test or onset of symptoms being Day 0.  Students, staff, and teachers may return to school on Day 6 and must wear masks to school during Days 6 – 10.
    • Masking is no longer required on school buses or vans. Individuals who are required to wear masks in school should wear masks on school transport.
    • Whenever persons are expected or required to wear masks, masks may be removed when eating, drinking, singing, going outside, or playing a wind instrument.  When masks are removed for these purposes, physical distancing of 6 or more feet should be maintained to the extent possible.
    • If there is an exposure in a classroom, parents/guardians will be notified via a letter home.  Regardless of vaccination status, an exposed individual does not have to quarantine at home but is recommended to wear a mask in school for 10 days. Students may continue to participate in extracurricular activities.
    • Exposed school staff and students and/or their parents/guardians are primarily responsible for ensuring that recommended testing occurs.
    • Symptomatic individuals, regardless of vaccination status or recent infection, should stay home until tested and if positive or not tested, should isolate for 5 days, or until other criteria are met for school attendance (e.g., resolution of fever), whichever is longer.

    As a reminder some students and staff may still be uncomfortable without a mask.  KCSD will not stand for anyone attempting to mock or intimidate others into their beliefs about masking.  The district will support the decision of each family and individual.  Whatever decision your family makes, please remind your students to be kind to others in their choice.  

Masking & Guidance Update 3/1/22

  • KCSD Community, 

    We were promised guidance from the New York State Department of Health by midday today. At this time, we have still not received it. In absence of that guidance, we still need to update you, our community, on the changes that begin tomorrow. Please know that further updates may be forthcoming. When we receive that guidance, we will update the community with any changes or additions to the protocols below: 

    Earlier this week, Governor Hochul announced that the mask mandate in schools will be lifted as of tomorrow, March 2, 2022. Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan followed with a statement saying that “… children in Ulster County two years old and over will no longer be required to wear masks indoors in school or childcare settings effective March 2.”  

    With that guidance, the Kingston City School District will go to “mask optional” in our school buildings and on bus transportation.  

    Please note the following: 

    • Any student, faculty/staff member, or visitor who would like to continue to wear a mask in the school setting is invited and encouraged to do so.  
    • KCSD will continue to have masks available for anyone who needs them. 
    • KCSD will continue to distribute test kits as they are available 
    • The district will not tolerate any harassment or bullying between students and/or staff because of masks. 
    • The “KCSD Current Cases” webpage will remain up to date.  
    • Unvaccinated faculty and staff will continue to be required to test weekly.  Any other faculty or staff who have opted-in for weekly testing will continue to be tested. 
    • KCSD will not quarantine close contacts but will notify all close contacts and recommend that a mask be worn for up to 10 days.  

    Students Showing Symptoms: 

    Do not send your student to school if they are showing symptoms at home. 

    • Will be sent to Nurse’s Office to be sent home 
    • Student must wear a mask until picked up from school 
    • A home test kit will be provided to the student, if needed 
    • If test comes back negative, student may return to school 

    If a student is positive: 

    • Isolation at home for 5 days 
    • Student may return to school on Day 6 – must wear mask through Day 10 

    While some students and staff may be comfortable without a mask, there will be many who make the decision to still wear one. KCSD will not stand for anyone attempting to mock or intimidate others into their beliefs about masking. The district will support the decision of each family and individual. Whatever decision your family makes, please remind your students to be kind to others in their choice.  

    We appreciate the patience and understanding our community has shown as we have worked together to keep our faculty, staff, and students safe in our schools. 

Masking Update 2/27/22

  • On Sunday, the governor announced that masks will no longer be mandated in schools beginning on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. 

    With that guidance, the Kingston City School District will go “mask optional” beginning on Wednesday. Any student, faculty/staff member, or visitor who would like to continue to wear a mask in the school setting are invited and encouraged to do so. The choice to wear a mask in school will be a personal and family decision.  

    KCSD will continue to distribute test kits as they are available and inform our community of vaccination opportunities. We will also continue to have masks available as needed and keep our KCSD Current Cases webpage up to date. 

    Please come to school on Monday and Tuesday prepared to be masked while in the buildings, as this will give the district COVID team the opportunity to adjust our health and safety strategies when we go “mask optional” on Wednesday. 

    We appreciate the patience of our families and faculty & staff as we navigate through this next phase. 

2/22/22 Reminders

  • KCSD Families, 

    Please be reminded that we are asking our families to remain diligent about monitoring their children for symptoms daily, even though the Daily Health Screenings are no longer required, and not send students to school if they are ill.  These symptoms include: 

    • Fever or chills 
    • Cough 
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
    • Fatigue 
    • Muscle or body aches 
    • Headache 
    • New loss of taste or smell 
    • Sore throat 
    • Congestion or runny nose 
    • Nausea or vomiting 
    • Diarrhea 

    Also, please remember that masks are still required during the school day and at all KCSD school events. 

    We will continue to keep our community updated with any changes to our current guidelines and protocols. 

Elimination of Daily Health Screening

  • KCSD Families,

    Beginning on Friday, February 18th, we will be eliminating the Daily Health Screening for both students and faculty/staff. You will no longer receive these emails or be asked to fill them out.

    We ask our families to remain diligent about monitoring their children for symptoms daily and not send students to school if they are ill.  These symptoms include:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    As a reminder, all students in Grades K-12 are eligible for a COVID vaccination and students 12 and over are eligible for a booster if their second dose of Pfizer was received more than 5 months ago. To schedule an appointment at the Ulster County POD please go to https://covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/vaccine-resource-center/ 

Quarantine Absences For Q2

  • KCSD Families,

    We are aware that some students who were placed on quarantine received Unexcused Absences for those days on their most recent report cards.  The district is reviewing each situation and will make any appropriate adjustments.

    Thank you for your patience as we look into this matter.

KCSD COVID Test Kit Distribution

  • The Kingston City School District has received additional COVID test kits to distribute to our families, with each student receiving one kit that includes two tests.

    Each KCSD school will communicate how they will distribute these test kits to their families.

    These are a different brand of testing kits than the ones previously provided.  For an instructional video on how to use these kits, please go to https://youtu.be/qBt_H4Gc-rU

Mask Mandate Still in Effect for New York State Schools

  • In a press conference today, Governor Kathy Hochul stated that masks will no longer be required indoors in businesses and restaurants starting tomorrow, February 10th. However, masks will still be mandatory in some settings, including public schools, until she and her team reevaluate the data later this month.

    KCSD will still require masks indoors, unless eating, for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. We will continue to communicate updates as information becomes available.

KCSD Vaccination POD Pop-Ups

Masking Update 1/25/22

  • Late yesterday, the Supreme Court in Nassau County declared that Governor Hochul’s mask mandate was outside of her authority.  

    The governor and NYS Department of Health have appealed this ruling and an immediate stay was put in place. The State Education Commissioner has directed all schools to continue to follow the guidelines in place and enforce masks in schools until appellate courts issue a further ruling. 

    More information will be communicated as it becomes available. 

Updated Quarantine Guidelines 1/11/2022

  • The New York State and Ulster County Departments of Health have recommended shortening the quarantine period for K-12 faculty, staff, and students to five (5) days for anyone who is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

    5-Day Quarantine for Students, Faculty, & Staff

    Infected (Positive Case):

    • If infected with COVID-19, a person must isolate for five (5) days, where day zero (0) is the day of symptom onset, or - if asymptomatic - the day of a positive test result, regardless of vaccination status.
    • If a COVID positive individual is asymptomatic at the end of five (5) days, or if their symptoms are resolving, they can end isolation and wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional five days. Individuals who cannot wear a well-fitting mask around others should continue to follow the standard isolation guidance (10 days).
    • Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should continue to follow the standard isolation guidance of ten (10) days.

    Exposed (Contact of a positive):

    • Faculty, Staff, and Students who are fully vaccinated (2 shots of Moderna or Pfizer or 1 shot of Janssen, plus 14 days) are not required to quarantine, but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for ten (10) days after the last date of exposure. 
    • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should quarantine for five (5) days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional five (5) days. 
    • Both of these sets of individuals should test at day five (if possible) with either a PCR or an antigen test.
    • If symptoms appear for either set of individuals, the individual should immediately quarantine and seek testing. In this scenario, quarantine ends upon a negative test, or upon following the guidance described in the “Infected (Positive Case)” section above. 
    • Students 12 years and older who are eligible for a booster but have not yet received one may attend school for instruction (including bus transportation) but may not participate in extracurricular or after school activities for the 5-day period. Fully vaccinated 5-11-year-olds are not eligible for a booster and have no further restrictions.
    • Individuals on quarantine will no longer be required to have a Department of Health release letter to return to school/work.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD/PRINT

Back to school - 1/3/21

  • Reminder! 
    KCSD returns to school tomorrow, January 3, 2022, an “E Day”. 
    The Kingston City School District will continue to follow our multi-tiered mitigation measures to help slow the spread in our schools. Parents and guardians, please remember that masks are required in all schools daily and please keep your student at home if they are sick. The Daily Health Screenings will continue to be sent to your email each morning to be filled out before school. 
    Additionally, KCSD will be employing Co2 detectors to ensure proper air exchange in our buildings, as well as working with the Ulster County Department of Health to implement “Test to Stay” and shorter quarantine time for our students. More information about these programs will be available soon. 
    We would like to wish our entire community a happy and healthy New Year and are excited to see our students back in school on Monday morning! 

KCSD Winter Sports Spectator Update (For Indoor Games, Meets & Matches)

  • KCSD will be implementing a spectator policy for the remainder of the Winter Sports Season.  We are seeing an increase in the infection rate throughout the county and to help with contact tracing I believe this is the best course of action at this time.

    Starting on January 3, 2022, and continuing through winter sports season, each athlete will be permitted to have two spectators at any home event, with the exception of swimming which has no spectators.

    Each athlete will provide the names of 2 individuals who will be in attendance for each home basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, or bowling match. For double header games in the Field House, the approved spectators for the first game will exit the gym following game one before the listed spectators are let in for game two.

    Many school districts in our division have already implemented similar policies for their home games with success. Spectator rosters are sent to those schools on the morning of each game or match, and the same will be expected of those schools visiting our campuses.  

    I know this is an unfortunate situation and I regret the loss of student participation as fans, but the safety of all and stopping the spread in our schools and community is the main priority.

    For information on spectator policies for our competing districts, please visit their websites or call our Athletics Department at 845-943-3737.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    Dr. Paul J. Padalino

    Superintendent of Schools

Parental Consent for Weekly COVID-19 Testing - new

  • Weekly testing for COVID-19 for students in schools will begin in January in conjunction with the Institute for Family Health. This weekly testing is NOT MANDATORY.

    Due to changes in vaccination status, some families' decision may have changed in regards to having their student tested.  Because of this, we are voiding all previous testing consent and starting fresh.  Any previous answers to parental consent forms have been discarded.

     
    Please only fill out and submit this consent form if you WANT your student tested for COVID-19 in school.  (If you do not want your student tested, no further action is needed)
    Please fill out a separate form for each student in your household you would like to be tested by December 23, 2021.

    Again, only fill out this form, using the link below, if your student is to be to be tested in school.   If you do not want your student tested, do not fill out this form.

     

    https://forms.office.com/r/e7GQPuQ8gW

Vaccination Clinics for Students Age 5-11 - New Appointments Available!

COVID-19 Student Screening & Vaccine Clinic - Updated 10/1/2021

  • Kingston City School District has begun COVID testing for faculty and staff in our schools in adherence with New York State requirements.

    At this time, 89.3% of our district faculty have been fully vaccinated. Anyone who remains unvaccinated is required to test once per week – vaccinated individuals may be tested weekly if they choose to do so.

    We have partnered with the Ulster County Department of Health (UCDOH) who is sending registered nurses to our school buildings to do the testing.

    KCSD will now begin the process to start testing students in school.  All students will have the opportunity to be tested weekly with consent from a person in parental relation. We ask that all district families fill out the following form to let us know if you would like your students to be tested for COVID-19 in school. If you need assistance with this form, please contact your school.  Please fill out this form even if you do not want your student screened for COVID-19 in school. It is imperative that we hear from all families. (If you have already filled out this form, you do not need to submit again and we thank you for your response.)

    https://forms.office.com/r/3ef1VCemRz

    (Para español, haga clic en la flecha en la parte superior del formulario.)

     

    In an effort to enhance our vaccinated student population, KCSD and UCDOH will facilitate a Vaccine Pop-Up Center at Kingston High School on Saturday, October 2nd from 10:00am to 5:00pm.  This vaccine clinic will take place in the Kate Walton Field House. 

    If you would like your student age 12-18 to be vaccinated, please use this link to make a vaccine appointment: https://apps2.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?DateID=CCC7AD5B368A03F2E0530A6C7C16A16E

    UCDOH will also offer vaccine boosters to those eligible at this vaccine clinic.  If any member of the community would like to sign up for a vaccine booster appointment, please use this link: https://apps2.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?DateID=CD154DE3C4C704BCE0530A6C7C16FA0F

    We would like to thank our parents and community for their cooperation as we work with the Department of Health to keep our students, faculty, staff and community safe.

     

A Note About Transportation

  • School districts across the state and country are experiencing a shortage of bus drivers as we begin this new school year. The Kingston City School District contracts with local bus companies for buses and drivers – we do not own buses; we do not employ bus drivers.

    With this driver shortage, KCSD has had to make some hard decisions. Some bus routes have been merged or revamped to accommodate transporting more students to school and back home again. Several bus stops have been combined or moved to ensure student and bus driver safety, as well as quicker pick-ups and drop-offs. All bus drivers run more than one route each day.  Bus stop locations cannot remain as they had in the past.

    We understand that there are some concerns of overloading on the buses. Please know, we are following state guidelines of keeping windows open on buses for air flow and bus drivers and staff will ensure that masks are being worn by everyone at all times on the bus.

    State Guidelines for Transportation:

    • Masks must be worn at all times. Masks will be available on buses for students without them
    • One student per seat, when possible
    • Maintain current loading procedures
    • All bus windows and hatches will be open
    • Siblings and same household students will share seating

    Our transportation department is working very hard to make sure our bus students are getting to and from school safely. We understand there were some timing issues yesterday morning and late drop-offs yesterday afternoon. Thank you to the members of our community who reached out to let us know of these problems. The scheduling issues are being diligently worked on and we will have solutions worked out with the bus companies.

    If you have questions about bus scheduling, please contact the department at transportation@kingstoncityschools.org

    The beginning of every school year comes with a few transportation bumps in the first week. We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation while we work out the concerns we are seeing in this new and extraordinarily difficult year.

KCSD Reopening Information 2021-22 School Year

  • Dear KCSD Families and Community,

    The excitement and anticipation of the new school year is nearly upon us!

    The Kingston City School District will open the doors of all of our school buildings to students 5-days per week on Wednesday, September 8th using the guidance and regulations put forth by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the Ulster County Department of Health (UCDOH).

    The continued safety of our students, staff and community remains at the forefront of the 2021-2022 school year.  As we begin the new year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our families for your continued support and cooperation.  The most important aspect to all of us at KCSD is the success of our students. Their success can best be accomplished by all of us working together and doing our part to contribute to a positive, healthy, and safe school experience.

    Below are the KCSD health and safety protocols for the 2021-2022 school year that will be used in all of our school buildings.

    • All individuals (faculty, staff, students, and contractors) will wear masks at all times inside school buildings regardless of vaccination status. Mask breaks will be offered to students throughout the day.
    • Masks are not required while eating and seated but should be worn at other times in the cafeteria.
    • Masks are not required outdoors.
    • Masks are required by all students and staff on school buses.
    • Distancing of 3-feet between students and 6-feet between staff and students will be maintained, when possible.
    • All schools will use visual guides (tape on floors, spacing aids on sidewalks, signs on walls) to ensure that staff and students remain distanced when in line and in hallways.
    • If possible, distancing will be maintained on school buses. Windows will remain open for air flow.
    • Proper ventilation will be maintained in all school buildings. Proper ventilation can be accomplished through moving fresh air into the building through open doors and windows, using fans to circulate the air, standalone air purifiers, or retrofitting HVAC systems.
    • Daily Health Screenings will continue to be filled out for faculty, staff, and students. These questionnaires will continue to be sent via email each morning.
    • Students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should not come to school or work. If symptoms develop during the school day, the individual will be sent home and encouraged to be tested.
    • Cohorting will be used when possible to limit the number of students, teachers, and staff who come in contact with each other.
    • PPE – All schools will have a sufficient supply of masks, gloves, face shields and all other protective equipment.
    • Temperatures of students and staff will no longer be taken upon arrival.
    • Field trips will be evaluated and based on the rate of transmission in the community.
    • All extracurricular activities will be offered (Clubs, Band, Choir, Drama, Activities, etc.). All guidelines and protocols that apply to the regular school day will continue to be enforced for these group meetings and events. 

    For Fall Athletics Competitions:

    • All outdoor sports (football, soccer, field hockey, cross country) will allow spectators with no masks. Football players will wear face shields while on the field. Spectators and players will remain separated throughout the events.
    • Volleyball – Athletes will wear masks throughout the competition. Spectators will be allowed in the Field House and must wear masks. All bleachers will be opened, and non-family members are asked to sit 3-feet apart.
    • Swimming – Athletes will wear masks on deck. Competing schools will be invited to our home meets. Spectators will not be allowed due to the size of the pool area. Meets will be live-streamed.

    Contact and quarantine information:

    A close contact is considered someone who has been within 6-feet of positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).  This excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of a positive student and well-fitting masks were correctly and consistently worn. (This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.) 

    KCSD will pivot to remote instruction whenever necessary because of a positive case that may impact others.  This could be several students, a full class, or a building in some cases.  This may be modified if all individuals in close contact were properly masked.  In the case of a pivot to remote learning for quarantines, technology will be provided to any student who needs a device.

    Any vaccinated individual will not have to quarantine as a result of a contact, unless they are showing symptoms, however they will have to get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they are not symptomatic. 

    I look forward to a safe and successful school year!

     

    Dr. Paul J. Padalino

    Superintendent of Schools

BOCES River to River Academy - Update

  • Yesterday evening the Kingston City School District was informed that Ulster BOCES has made the decision to not offer the River to River Virtual Learning Academy for the 2021-22 school year.

    KCSD is actively pursuing other options to provide remote learning for our students and we will update our families and community as soon as more information is available.

2021-2022 Reopening Information

  • Parents and Caregivers,

    I hope you are all having an enjoyable, relaxing, and safe summer.  As we approach mid-August, I wanted to provide you with information regarding our opening of school on September 8th.  Please know, this information is based on current conditions in our community and the recommendations from the various groups who advise school districts. 

    We have recently been informed that the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Education Department, and the Governors’ Office will NOT be providing school districts with guidance for the opening of schools in September.  Absent any changes or new guidance, below is how we are planning to proceed in the Fall. 

    • All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear a mask at all times, with the exception of short mask breaks and outdoor activities where proper distancing can be maintained, regardless of vaccination status.
    • We will, to the best of our ability, be maintaining 3 feet of social distance between students and 6 feet between students and staff.
    • We will continue to ask students, faculty, and staff to complete our health screening survey daily.
    • We will pivot to remote instruction whenever necessary because of a positive case that may impact others in proximity (6 feet). This could be several students, a full class, or a building in some cases.  We may modify this if all individuals involved were properly masked at the time of contact. 
    • Students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should not come to school or work. If symptoms develop during the school day, the individual will be sent home and encouraged to be tested. 
    • We will continue to employ multiple layers of protection including, proper hand washing, use of sanitizer and regular cleaning and disinfection of our buildings.

    We will be returning to our pre-State of Emergency arrival and dismissal schedule in all buildings. https://www.kingstoncityschools.org/domain/1006

    Data from Ulster County indicates that almost 70% of students in the County who are eligible have been vaccinated.  We strongly encourage anyone who can to get vaccinated.  The following link will take you to the Ulster County Vaccination Resource Center.  The latest information on vaccine availability can be found on this site. 

    https://covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/vaccine-resource-center/ 

    The Kingston City School District is committed to keeping our students, faculty, staff and community safe.  Working together, we can open school in September and enjoy a full, in-person school year!

     

    Dr. Paul J. Padalino

    Superintendent of Schools

Mask Update 6/8/21

  • KCSD has received the new and updated guidance from the NYSDOH that no longer requires masks be worn outdoors on school grounds, including during outdoor activities and interscholastic sports.  However, there is no change to the requirement of mask use indoors and on our school buses. 

    Effective immediately, mask use is no longer required outdoors on KCSD school grounds. 

    All other health and safety efforts will remain in place in our school buildings and on school grounds, including proper social distancing, daily health screenings and temperature checks.

    Kingston City School District encourages our faculty and staff to continue the practice of frequent “mask breaks” for our students with an increase in these breaks during warmer weather. 

    KCSD would like to thank our community for your support as we continue to follow the safety guidelines set forth by the state and county departments of health.