The Dansville Central School District will be closed Friday as the district transition to remote learning, which is to begin Monday following an increase in COVID-19 cases and a shortage of staff.

There were 44 active student and employee COVID-19 cases in the district, including 33 students, District Superintendent Paul J. Alioto said in a letter posted Thursday on the district’s website.

The change to remote learning is expected to last until Nov. 30. The term covers five days of scheduled classes. The district is closed Nov. 24 to 26 for Thanksgiving Break.

The District expects to resume normal operations on Dec. 1.

District facilities and school buses will undergo additional cleaning and disinfection on Friday. There will not be any classes, extra-curricular activities or remote learning on Friday, the letter said.

The District will provide transportation for students with disabilities who attend out of district programs in Mount Morris and private special education placements on Friday and throughout the remote learning period. The District will transport Career and Technical Education students beginning Monday and throughout the remote learning period between Dansville High School and the May Center in Mount Morris; parents or guardians will need to provide transportation to and from the high school.

Alioto said the reasons for the transition “are multi-layered” and were informed by several factors. Among them:

n The number of active COVID-19 cases, which include 33 students and 11 employees.

n During the past nine school days the district has maintained a range of positives between 30 and 45 cases. “We dropped some over the weekend and our quarantines dropped by over 40% on Monday, but positive and quarantine numbers have climbed again,” Alioto wrote.

n Staff absences, and the shortage of substitutes in every department have left the District unable to fill key vacanies each day. “In transportation, we have been combining bus runs whihc places riders closer together for longer periods of time,” Alioto wrote.

n Regional positive rates in the Finger Lakes and Livingston County and local rates are at their highest point since the pandemic began, Alioto wrote. Within the Dansville zip code there were 75 active cases on Thursday, representing 25% of the active cases in Livingston County. “An awareness that there are many undiagnosed local cases is another factor contributing to the decision to make this transition,” Alioto wrote.

Alioto also noted that last year there was a spike in positivty rates after the Thanksgiving holiday when active cases were much lower.

“We can expect the same to occur this year while positivity is much higher,” Alioto said.

“When a transmission has occurred, COVID-19 symptoms typically appear 3-5 days after close contact with a positive. Since days four and five of the post-Thanksgiving range will be Monday, 11/29, and Tuesday, 11/30, it is best to keep students at home so that we are not sending pre-symptomatic positive students into contact with one another in the classroom or on the school bus,” he wrote.

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for children ages 5 to 11 years old will continue as scheduled on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria at Dansville High School, 282 Main St. The clinic is by appointment only. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/ydtyjenn.

Athletic practices and musical rehearsals will also resume Saturday, and continue after the school day ends throughout the remote learning period.

Meals will be provided by pick-up only throughout the remote learning period. Parents my contact Ritary Morrow directly at (585) 335-4010 ext. 1407 to arrange the service. Food service will be closed on Nov. 19.

The middle school building will remain open for BOCES, GCC and the YMCA during the remote learning period.

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