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RCSD Community Update: 5/21/21

May 21, 2021

Dear RCSD Community,

Please remember that there is no school next Friday, May 28, due to the snow/emergency giveback day.  I will also not be sending a community update that Friday. If there is new information from the State or Department of Health related to the schools, I will communicate that separately.

Budget Vote/BOE Election

Thank you to the many of you who turned out to vote in the annual budget vote and Board of Education election on Tuesday.  Voter turnout was a bit lower than in 2020 - 2,023 votes were cast this year, versus 2,589 last year.  We understand that this was the case in other school districts in Westchester as well.  Over 75% of those who voted supported the school district’s 2021-22 budget, for which we are very grateful.  

Also similar to other districts, we had a contested Board of Trustees election this year, with eight candidates vying for three seats on the Board. The two incumbent candidates, Callie Erickson and Chris Repetto, were reelected, as was newcomer Kelsey Johnson.  Congratulations to them, and thank you to the other candidates who ran for the Board. Strong voter turnout and interest in serving on the Board of Education are reflective of a community that cares about its school district and about education, and for that, I am deeply grateful and appreciative.

Capital Project Update

At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, while waiting for voting results, we were treated to an update on the District’s capital projects.  You can watch that update here and/or click here for the accompanying Powerpoint presentation, complete with photos of work both completed and underway and schematic design drawings of the spaces planned for construction next.

Pop-Up Vaccine Clinic

Today, the District hosted the first of two Pop-Up vaccine clinics for White Plains Hospital at the RMS gym. Nearly 300 high school, middle school, and elementary school (age 12+) students received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 shot today. The second shot clinic, also administered by White Plains Hospital, will take place on Friday, June 11. 

Face Mask Requirements

While New York State has adopted new rules for vaccinated individuals with regard to face masks, unfortunately, there has been no change to the requirements in schools. We have been informed by the State Department of Health that face masks are still unequivocally required on school grounds regardless of vaccination status. School grounds include all school property, both indoors and outdoors.  Our neighbors in CT recently announced that masks will no longer be needed when students are outside for sports, recess, and outdoor activities. We will keep the community updated if New York follows suit.

Senior Internships/Prom/Graduation

This week, our seniors began their month-long senior internships. Some of those internships are online, while others are in-person. We hope the seniors find their internships interesting and rewarding. Plans for Prom and Graduation for the class of 2021 are full-steam ahead. Prom will take place on Friday, June 4, at the VIP Country Club in New Rochelle. Graduation is planned for Saturday, June 19, in Nugent Stadium. Our seniors are so deserving of a chance to celebrate together after an incredibly challenging year plus.

Case Update

Since my last community update on May 14, we have had one new case of COVID-19 at Osborn School. There were quarantines related to the case.

Have a terrific weekend.

Sincerely,

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools