Update: ‘Majority’ of Southold school district employees will quarantine for 14 days

After determining that two school district employees had tested positive for COVID-19, the Southold school district informed parents at 5:30 p.m. Monday that students will not return to school Tuesday. Instead, the first day of school will be held Wednesday and in-person learning will not begin until Friday, Sept. 18.

The Suffolk County Department of Health notified the district Monday afternoon that the “majority” of the district’s employees are required to quarantine for 14 days, which made the change of plans necessary.

Here are the changes, as explained by Superintendent Anthony Mauro in a note to the district’s students and their families:

The school conference day scheduled for Sept. 18 will be moved to Sept. 8, so everyone can complete preparations.

“We will focus on student transition back to school and social/emotional learning,” Mr. Mauro said.

He said Sept. 9 will be the first day of school for students.

“Students should practice logging in to their Google Classrooms and during the day, they will engage in a live Google Meet with their building principal and support staff,” he said. 

“On the second and third day of school, students will engage with their teachers and support staff on an abbreviated basis. The focus will be on transition back to instruction.”

On Sept. 14, students will begin distance learning, the schedule for which will be shared in the coming days. On Friday, Sept. 18, students, faculty and staff will return to in-person school.

“Our objective with this approach is to comfortably acclimate our students and teachers to instruction, both in-person and through distance learning.  We look to support all members of the Southold Learning Community through the reopening in a safe and supportive manner,” Mr. Mauro said.  

“We are all appreciative of the flexibility and support you continue to show as we work through the 2020-2021 school year. We will keep you informed as we move through these unprecedented times.”

Monday morning, Mr. Mauro informed school families that two district employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

“As our employees have been in the building together preparing for our students to return, we contacted the New York State Department of Health and they are reviewing all of the information,” Mr. Mauro said in a note sent to parents and staff Sunday at 9:59 p.m.

In that morning release, Mr. Mauro also said, “We are following tracing procedures as outlined in our plan and at no time were students in the building with our employees. We will have crews in over the holiday disinfecting the buildings. As soon as we receive updated information from the NYSDOH we will share that information with you. Thank you and be well.”

The State Health Department on Sunday reported 58 new cases of COVID-19 in Suffolk County for the prior 24-hour period.