Advocacy Letters re: Microclusters and Testing
November 24, 2020
Dear Garden City Parents,
With increasing infection rates, Nassau County could be declared a “yellow zone” in the near future. Just yesterday, Great Neck and Massapequa Park were designated as being in the yellow zone. If Garden City is declared a "yellow zone," schools must close unless we meet the following conditions:
Schools must test 20% of in-person students, faculty and staff over the two-week period immediately following the announcement of a yellow zone designation. If the results of the testing reveal that the positivity rate among those tested is lower than the yellow zone’s current 7-day positivity rate, testing at that school will no longer be required to continue.
If Garden City were to be identified as a yellow zone, we would need to administer approximately 900 mandatory tests in two weeks. Depending upon the results we may then need to continue testing 900 students and staff bi-weekly. The logistics of this requirement are massive and the cost of implementation is prohibitive. Forcing all of our students to return to full remote learning because our state government is unable to appropriately fund our local department of health to monitor community-wide spread and to support school districts with the mandatory testing requirements undervalues and undermines education.
We know that hearing directly from community members is a powerful force and we need your help to engage our local and state legislators. We need the Governor to understand that the lack of funding and testing support is detrimental to our district and will inevitably lead to long-term challenges for both our district and our students.
Below is an email that you can use to send to our local and state authorities letting them know how this decision impacts our students. Please copy the message and use the emails provided to send your message. It should only take a few minutes and will send this critically important message to our representatives.
Please know our goal is to ensure our schools remain open. We are currently working towards a plan and we may also seek assistance from our parents.
Kusum Sinha, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
I appreciate the Governor and the Legislature for their ongoing effort to contain the coronavirus, including the Governor's new cluster zone strategy for testing in communities with rising infection rates.
As a parent in the Garden City School District, I believe testing is beneficial to keep our schools open, but requires state funding and state coordination to allow our district to be in compliance with the state regulations.
To keep our schools open and implement mandated testing, we need your help in ensuring that either school districts have the necessary funding to test and analyze results or provide the necessary resources to the Nassau County Department of Health to partner with school districts to meet the mandated requirements.
Once again, we commend your efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in our community. However, our schools and our children need your immediate action. Please provide the funding and resources necessary for our school district to remain open and implement safe, reliable, and timely testing in our schools.
Thank you for your attention to this time-sensitive matter that could result in the imminent and unintended closure of our public schools.
Your City, State, Zip
Your Phone Number
Governor Andrew Cuomo -https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
Ed Ra - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Thomas - email@example.com
County Executive Laura Curran - firstname.lastname@example.org
Regents Roger Tilles - Regent.Tilles@nysed.gov
Letters from the Board of Education