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Community Update from the Superintendent

Dear GNPS Community:

As I write this message, our community, our region, and the nation are all experiencing a significant rise in COVID-19 cases. Over the past week alone, our district reported 12 confirmed cases among students and staff. Health experts warn that the next few months will present more challenges, and we must remain vigilant in our efforts to protect ourselves and one another. 

So far, our district has been able to avoid school closures -- which is a great sign that our health procedures and prevention policies are working. But continued success requires everyone’s cooperation in school and, equally as important, outside of school. 

With the holiday season approaching and colder weather on the way, please do your part by following all health and safety guidelines: avoid large gatherings, stay home when not feeling well or while awaiting test results, contact your medical provider if exhibiting COVID-like symptoms, cooperate with isolation and/or quarantine orders issued by the Department of Health (DOH), and practice the 3 W’s (WASH your hands, WEAR a mask, WATCH your distance).

Travel Advisory/Restrictions

In response to the uptick in cases, New York State has recently revised travel guidelines and announced new restrictions. These changes come at a time when families may be considering plans to travel, visit colleges, or host a holiday. For the health and safety of our school community, we expect everyone to abide by State requirements, including:

  • NYS Travel Advisory - Revised travel guidelines allow out-of-state travelers to take COVID diagnostic tests to shorten the mandatory quarantine period. There are different criteria based on the duration of travel (less than/longer than 24 hours). Travelers also must submit a Traveler Health Form to the NYS DOH. State guidelines and procedures are continuously changing, so be sure to review the COVID-19 Travel Advisory on the New York State website before traveling and understand the responsibilities upon return.
  • Restrictions on Gatherings - Governor Cuomo announced new restrictions that limit residential gatherings to 10 people or fewer. For the latest developments from the State, visit www.coronavirus.health.ny.gov.

School Closing Rumors

Finally, I’d like to address a rumor that has been circulating on social media, alleging that local school superintendents met with the County Executive or the Governor to discuss plans to close schools between Thanksgiving Recess and the Holiday Recess in December. This rumor is not true. To the contrary, our district is working very hard to remain open. We’re consulting with the DOH about each confirmed case and doing everything we can to protect our students and staff. If there is ever a need to close our schools, I will share that information directly with our community.

I realize the past eight months have been challenging, but this is not the time to let our guard down. The health and safety of our school community is our shared responsibility. Stay Great Neck Strong, fight COVID fatigue, and let’s work together to keep our schools safe and open.  

Sincerely,
Dr. Teresa Prendergast
Superintendent of Schools