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December 30, 2021: Message from Dr. Vallely

Dear Lancaster Families,

We hope that you have enjoyed time with your family and friends over the holiday break. We also hope that everyone in your family has remained healthy and safe. As you know, the Lancaster Central School District has prioritized in-person learning and keeping schools open while maintaining the health and safety of our entire school community.

During a webinar this past Tuesday evening (December 28, 2021), Governor Hochul and NYSDOH Commissioner Mary Bassett stated their goal is to assist school districts in their efforts to maintain in-person learning by having as many students as possible tested for COVID-19 prior to school resuming on Monday, January 3, 2022. Their hope is to distribute COVID-19 test kits to each BOCES statewide by this Friday or Saturday. From there, BOCES will work to distribute test kits to school districts. Lastly, school districts will distribute individual test kits to the families of our students.

Since the Governor’s announcement on Tuesday evening, we have worked diligently and quickly to develop a plan for distribution of COVID-19 test kits to Lancaster families. We are hopeful that we will receive the test kits by Saturday, January 1, 2022. If we receive the test kits by Saturday, our provisional plan is to distribute them to families on Sunday morning. Further details of the plan will be communicated once we receive the test kits.

This testing, while not required, is an option being made available to students before returning from winter recess. We believe providing this testing is another mitigation practice that will help maintain an educational environment that is healthy and safe, which remains our top priority.

To clarify, this program is not to be confused with the recent test-to-stay initiative, the details of which are still being finalized with the Erie County Health Department.


Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.