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Micro-Cluster Zone Classification - What does it mean for Wheatland-Chili?

Updated December 8th, 2020

Governor Cuomo has revised the guidelines for the Micro-Cluster Zone Classification System. The following FAQ reflects these guidelines as of December 8th, 2020.


While much of Monroe County has received a “yellow zone” designation from New York State under the Governor’s micro-cluster zone classification system, the Wheatland-Chili Central School District currently does not fall under this designation. School districts that fall within a yellow zone are required to test their in-person students, faculty, and staff population until the yellow zone designation is lifted. Failure to meet the testing standards will result in a mandatory transition to a fully remote learning model. 


The Wheatland-Chili Central School District is not subject to the COVID-19 testing requirements at this time because our school buildings are located outside of the yellow zone area.  However, even though we are not yet required to begin testing, we are preparing in case our COVID-19 numbers rise and we later become designated as a yellow zone.  



zone requirements


What would the testing look like?


We have already received rapid response test kits from the Monroe County Department of Public Health. The test is easy and non-invasive! Collecting a specimen for testing involves inserting a small swab, similar to a cotton swab, into the front of the nose and collecting a nasal sample. The test takes approximately eight seconds.




See more details here.


T. J. Connor parents can review this FAQ with their children to help reduce testing anxiety.


If your child receives a positive test, you will be notified immediately by telephone and your child will be sent home. If your child’s test results are negative, this means that the virus was not detected in your child’s specimen. 


Would parents have the opportunity to consent to testing?


Yes. We will be asking parents to sign a consent form before their child is tested. If you do not consent to having your student tested, your student may be required to convert to fully remote learning.


Can parents have their child tested by their own pediatrician?


Yes. If a parent elects to take their child to their own physician for testing, we would require a copy of the test results from the doctor or testing agency. Tests administered at a New York State-operated testing site are also permitted. Test results must be submitted within seven days of the test administration.


How will students be selected for testing?


These details are still being determined. Districts that receive a Yellow designation are given a week to develop their testing plans. While we currently do not have a Yellow designation, we are preparing now as if we will receive a designation in the near future. Our school nurses will administer the COVID tests. The logistics of who will be tested on any given will be determined very soon, after we analyze the returned consent forms.


What if we cannot get a 20% sample?


If too many families decline to provide consent, and we cannot obtain a 20% sample, we will be forced to go full-remote. This makes it critical that we obtain consent forms for as many students as possible.


Currently, at 20%, we would need to test approximately 140 individuals.


Do remote students count towards the total pool of individuals needing to be tested?


No. Only in-person students and staff count towards our testing mandate.


How accurate are the tests?


The tests are very accurate at catching positive cases in individuals exhibiting symptoms. In asymptomatic individuals, there is a higher rate of incorrect negative results (called “false negatives.”) If your child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have concerns about your child’s exposure to COVID-19, you should call your child’s doctor.



What would the shutdown look like?


If required to close our facilities, we will immediately convert to remote instruction for all students. When permitted, faculty would teach much of their time remotely from their classrooms in their buildings.


It is important to note that we are much better prepared for remote learning than we were last spring. We have had eight months to prepare for this possibility and we have addressed many of the technology, curriculum, and teaching method changes that would be necessitated by a fully-remote learning environment. Students would maintain their daily class schedule that is currently in place. Instead of attending in-person on certain days, all of their participation would be via ZOOM for the period of closure.


With that said, it remains our goal to keep our District open for in-person learning.



What about the daily health assessments?


We ask that students and staff continue to complete the daily health assessments found here.


As local cases continue to climb, we will begin asking students at the Middle/High School to also complete the Health Assessment when they arrive to school each morning. This will be done during their Set 1 class and will only take a few moments.


What else can we do?


We continue to work closely with the Monroe County Department of Health to monitor this situation.  We will share additional information on how the testing program would be administered as soon as it is available.  And, we will of course notify you of any change in our designation. 



Governor Cuomo has required schools to meet these testing thresholds in order to understand the level of community spread. Working together to test our entire community is one way in which we can meet the Governor’s mandate while staying informed and keeping each other safe.


What next?


The situation is constantly changing and we thank everyone for their patience and flexibility. We also want to remind everyone to remain vigilant and committed to mask wearing, social distancing and handwashing to decrease community spread of this virus.


We understand how difficult these times are for everyone, and we also appreciate the need to keep you updated on what is happening in our schools.  We will continue to keep you informed of any new information as we receive it.


If anyone has additional questions, please let us know. Your questions help us plan better for the challenges ahead.