Allegany-Limestone High/Middle School

Allegany-Limestone High/Middle School

ALLEGANY — The Allegany-Limestone Central School District has responded to ever-changing COVID-19 regulations for quarantining from the state Department of Education since Jan. 1.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week shortened the quarantine period from 10 days to five but urged people to continue to wear a mask around others for an additional five days.

With help from the Cattaraugus County Health Department, getting documentation of the number of days an individual needs to quarantine has been streamlined, Allegany-Limestone Superintendent Anthony Giannicchi told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

“You can return as long as you are not symptomatic,” the superintendent said. “Before you had to get a test” before returning. “Now you report it to the county — even an at-home test — and the county tells you how many days you will be out.”

Giannicchi said, “You want to do what is best for people.” In the past this has resulted in some students being out for a long period of time. “Safety comes first. We will do what we have to do. We’ve been doing it for almost two years.”

From the teaching perspective it is easier to deal with five days, however, Giannicchi said.

The district has a remote access option available for those students in quarantine as a close contact of someone testing positive for COVID-19. They can “sit in” on the class via a remote video link, but it is difficult to participate in group activities or assessments.

It’s a good system in the short-term and the five-day quarantine will make it easier, Giannicchi said. Assignments are downloaded onto the district’s scholastic portal and available to all.

Matt Volz, the student representative to the school board, told board members about his recent quarantine experience. Ten days of remote learning when most of the rest of the class is in the classroom is not easy, but allows students the ability to keep up with instruction, he said.

“I’ve got to credit the teaching staff for making this work,” Giannicchi said. “This is not in their wheelhouse.”

The superintendent said Matt indicated “he didn’t like he was left behind when he returned to school.”

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at rmiller@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)

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