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Nov. 24, 2020: Moses DeWitt included in state's orange zone

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District Superintendent Peter Smith sent the following letter via SchoolMessenger to Moses DeWitt Elementary School families and staff. 

Dear Moses DeWitt families and staff,

On Monday, Nov. 23, Gov. Andrew Cuomo identified the neighborhood that includes Moses DeWitt Elementary School as part of an orange zone, meaning that area is experiencing a microcluster of COVID-19 cases. The orange zone designation, which takes effect Nov. 26, requires that we close the school for at least four calendar days. 

At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to reopen for hybrid in-person instruction on Nov. 30, but there are still several unknowns that could prohibit that. Per orange zone requirements, all students and staff members wishing to attend school in-person must receive a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken on or after Nov. 26. 

We are working with Onondaga County to secure a date for on-site rapid testing that would be available at Moses DeWitt. Until that date is set, we cannot say for sure when we will reopen. 

While we can accept test results from a health care provider if the test is administered on or after Nov. 26, we recommend that for record-keeping purposes students and staff members take part in the county’s on-site reopening testing once we have it scheduled. 

We know the county is using the BinaxNOW shallow nasal swab at its school test sites, not the more intrusive traditional COVID-19 test. Test results are known within 15-20 minutes and will be made available at no cost.

After the initial school reopening testing and throughout the duration of the orange zone designation, 25 percent of the school’s in-person students and staff must be tested weekly for COVID-19. We are working out those testing details as well and more information will be forthcoming. 

I will be communicating directly with families in our other four schools as those buildings each fall within a yellow zone, which has a different set of requirements. That communication will be shared on our website. 

We are hopeful that we will be able to continue to provide in-person instruction and appreciate your support for our students and staff. I will share information and updates via SchoolMessenger and on our website. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to me or Moses DeWitt Principal Mary Sylvester.


Peter Smith 




Dr. Peter Smith, Superintendent

P.O. Box 606
DeWitt, NY 13214

Phone: (315) 445-8300

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