Return to Headlines

RCSD Community Update: 10/22/21

October 22, 2021

Dear RCSD Community,

This week provided us with the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I am not sure of the scientific reason for these intense skies, but I hope you’ve had a chance to see both the amazing colors and the size of the moon. 

For the past few weeks, I have been advocating non-stop for approval to launch a Test-to-Stay Pilot in our school district. Test-to-Stay is a program that allows students, faculty, and staff who have been exposed to a COVID-positive individual to be tested daily in order to be able to continue to go to school and work (if they test negative and show no symptoms) rather than quarantine for 10 days. Test-to-Stay programs are already in place in Massachusetts and Utah, and the CDC is looking at the practice as a possible nationwide program

While we do not yet have approval, I am working with our local elected officials (County Executive Latimer and Senator Mayer), the NYS DOH, and the NYS Education Department to gain approval for the pilot.The RCSD would be the first District in New York to be permitted to use the program because we are already designated a Limited Services Laboratory (LSL) as a result of our surveillance testing program. I am optimistic that we will receive approval for this pilot and have the ability to reduce the number of quarantines necessary due to exposure. Additional information will be forthcoming as soon as I know more, but this is an exciting development that would help us keep teachers and students in our schools while still keeping the community safe.

Surveillance Testing 

The District will be re-launching its successful COVID-19 surveillance testing program for students, faculty, and staff on Monday, October 25. We are still working with the County to coordinate PCR saliva testing with Mt. Sinai. In the meantime, we will be offering rapid BinaxNOW nasal swab testing at each of the schools on a rotating basis. 

Click here to see the testing schedule and find the needed forms - no appointments are required this year. We will also send out reminders to each school community a day ahead of testing as we did last year.

Surveillance testing is useful in helping to identify asymptomatic individuals in our community, with the ultimate goal of preventing the spread of COVID, keeping our community safe and our schools open.

RHS Fall Play

After a two-year hiatus, the RHS Parsons Street Players are presenting their fall play, “The 39 Steps,” with three shows this weekend:

  • Tonight, Friday, October 22, at 7:00 p.m.
  • Tomorrow, Saturday, October 23, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

“The 39 Steps” is a delightful comedic mystery; Alfred Hitchcock adapted it into a wonderful movie, but I think it plays best as live theater.

All shows are at the Performing Arts Center at the High School. Tickets are available at the door and masks are required for the duration of the performance.

RHS Ambassador Program

Rye High School has launched an exciting new student outreach program this year called the RHS Ambassador Program. RHS Ambassadors are student volunteers whose job it is to connect with students who are new to Rye High School, be they new to Rye or transferring from another school, to help them with their adjustment to all aspects of school life: academic, social, sports, and school-sponsored activities. They are also working to reach out to any students who may feel disconnected from student life for one reason or another.

There are currently 12 RHS Ambassadors helping more than 30 students become acclimated to RHS. The Ambassadors helped out during New Student Orientation and came in early during the first few days of school to help students find their classes. Now they are helping students find their feet in other aspects of school life. Kudos to the Ambassadors for giving their time to help others. 

Financial Aid Night

Next Thursday, October 28, at 7:00 p.m. is Rye High School’s Financial Aid Night. This annual event is for parents of students in grades 9 -12 who are interested in learning more about paying for college and the financial aid process. The speaker this year is Ms. Ashley Bianchi, the Director of Financial Aid at Williams College. Please click here for the event flyer which includes the Google Meet link. 

Construction Update/Tours

As we get closer to substantial completion of most of the school construction projects from this summer, we look forward to scheduling some community tours. Dates will be announced shortly. Please watch this space!

Case Update

Since my last update, we have had one case at Milton School which fortunately did not require any additional quarantines.

I hope to see you at “The 39 Steps” this weekend. To the cast and crew, break a leg!


Eric Byrne, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools