EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — East Syracuse Minoa Central School District welcomed students back for their first day of classes on Tuesday.
In addition to welcoming students and staff back, ESM has implemented new protocols they must follow. A new protocol that has been implemented is weekly testing for school staff who are not vaccinated.
“We’re fortunate that 93 percent of our staff have voluntarily informed us that they are vaccinated and they’ve provided that proof of vaccination,” says Dr. Donna DeSiato, ESM Superintendent.
Dr. DeSiato says the other seven percent completed their COVID-19 testing last week and will have the option of testing weekly.
“The other testing that we’re participating in, but is for both students and staff is the testing that is the saliva swab testing from upstate medical,” says Dr. DeSiato.
Every Friday, ESM will be administering a salvia swab test that will be transported to a lab.
“Within 24 hours the parent of the student will get results regarding that particular type of testing. We are testing 10 percent of the students and or staff on a weekly basis on Friday,” says Dr. DeSiato.
Parents will have a one time consent form, which will be useable for the entire year.
Dr. DeSiato added, “However, parents will decide whether or not on a weekly basis if they would like their student to be part of the randomized testing by registering their child on a weekly basis. Staff will do the same.”
Another requirement is face masks.
Students, staff and everyone inside a school building must wear a mask at all times. Regardless of your vaccination status. Face masks can be taken off while eating, drinking, singing or playing an instrument. Dr. DeSiato says there will be mask breaks every 60 to 80 minutes, where students can take their mask off for five to 10 minutes.
Students playing school sports will be required to wear their face masks while indoors, this includes spectators as well. Masks will not be required outdoors.
ESM Executive High School Principal, Greg Avellino says the district is excited to begin the new school year.
“We want our kids and staff and our parents to know that this is a wonderful place and we are ready for the brand new school year,” says Avellino.