Tuesday afternoon, after dismissing the Rye Middle School at 11am for 100% remote instruction, the Rye school district said the Middle School would be 100% remote through Friday due to a “substantial” number of individuals were exposed to COVID.
The closure is driven by the number of faculty and staff forced to quarantine. This makes it impossible to properly staff in person learning as remaining staff cannot cover and the number of substitute teachers “has dwindled to almost nothing this year due to the pandemic.”
The school plans to reopen for in-person instruction on Monday, January 25th.
Date: Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 1:51 PM
Subject: RMS to be Fully-Remote Through Friday, January 22
To: Rye City School District Recipients
Dear RMS Community,
Today the District learned of a positive case at Rye Middle School. The individual is currently in quarantine and was last at the school on Thursday, January 14, and Friday, January 15. Due to federal health privacy laws, additional information about the individual cannot be released.
After extensive discussions with the Westchester County Department of Health, we made the decision to close the school and shift to remote learning this morning at 11:00 a.m. to allow for contact tracing associated with this case. Unfortunately, the number of individuals exposed was substantial. Due to the number of faculty and staff required to quarantine based on this case, previous cases, illness, and non-school related quarantines, Rye Middle School will be on a fully-remote schedule through Friday, January 22, and will reopen for in-person learning on Monday, January 25.
I know this is frustrating news for many, including our faculty and staff. We simply cannot safely open a school without appropriate adult supervision in the building, and this week we will not have enough personnel to allow us to reopen the building for students. We do not have enough substitute teachers or staff available to fill the gap; that pool has dwindled to almost nothing this year due to the pandemic.
Please know that we are doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and are working closely with the Department of Health to manage this particular situation.
Eric Byrne, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools