Dear Riverview Parents,
Greetings. We hope that you are enjoying the more mild temperatures....finally! For us, this is a great reminder that spring is on the way, and this brings new found hope and optimism. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during the month-long February snow and ice storm. We certainly didn’t need that on top of the challenges we are already facing, but we got through it together! Hopefully the snow and ice are over and we can look forward to the warmer spring months.
Please read the items below in their entirety:
- Travel Guidelines and Clarifications - As a result of ongoing discussions regarding travel guidelines related to Covid-19, Riverview continues to bend and flex as appropriate. The Riverview Health Staff will continue to recommend that if families choose to travel out of state, they quarantine for 10 days without testing or 7 days with a negative test on or after day 5 of quarantine. However, as cases and positivity rates continue to decline, Riverview will set the minimum benchmark to stay consistent with the current Department of Health Covid-19 Information for Travelers guidelines. This slight change should clear up confusion for families, better align our practices with State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, and ensure our Health Staff continues to position themselves as key allies and points of contacts for families.
- Community Spread and Attestation Form – With more widespread vaccinations, community spread continues to decline. We are happy to report that if this trend continues, Allegheny County will emerge from the “substantial spread” category as of this Monday, March 1st. What does this mean? Remember, in order to continue to keep our doors open the through the winter, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the State DOH required us to sign an “attestation form,” mandating schools to intermittently go virtual as we experienced cases of Covid-19. As you recall, this resulted in a “yo-yo effect” of our District having to go virtual when cases occurred. The good news is that as long as the County remains in “moderate” to “low” transmission, this relieves the District from being mandated to go virtual as a mitigation strategy. Monday should mark a more stable educational environment, and we are excited about this development.
- Educator Vaccinations – As many of you know, educators are in the 1B vaccination phase. We understand the importance of getting our at-risk populations vaccinated, but we are anxiously awaiting our turn as well. The DOH is experiencing pressure to carve out space to place educators at the end of the 1A group, or the beginning of the 1B phase, separate from all other subgroups. In order to be prepared when vaccinations are available, however, all Allegheny County schools are currently working collaboratively with our local intermediate units, AHN, UPMC, Heritage Valley, and the St. Clair health systems to create a detailed and organized plan to cluster regional schools around hospitals with vaccination capabilities. The Superintendents in the County have seen a mockup of this organizational chart and it looks quite promising. The point is that when vaccinations are available, our Riverview educators will be poised and ready! For now, we are in a holding pattern, however. Let's hope we can receive the vaccinations soon!
- Masks and Safety – Although the spread of the virus is declining, we are not out of the woods yet. This month, the County experienced the highest Covid counts for students since the beginning of the pandemic (approximately 550 students across all Allegheny County schools). Masks continue to be a key driver to keeping the virus from spreading. So please, continue to wear masks, require your house guests to wear masks, and continue to protect yourselves from the spread of the virus. In my personal life, two of our close friends lost parents to the virus in the last two weeks. I don’t say this to scare anyone, just to remind you that the virus is still nothing to be trifled with. Please continue to be vigilant, and we will continue to do the same at school. If we all do our part, the spread will continue to decline and we can continue to bring students back safely.
- Masks during Pickup/Drop-off - Please make sure that masks are worn AT ALL TIMES when on campus, and when picking up and dropping off students. This is a requirement even when outside. We appreciate your cooperation and support in this matter.
- Congratulations to our Winter Sports Participants - Congratulations to all of our winter sports athletes! This winter was a very challenging sports season. We hope that you enjoyed watching our Junior-Senior HS sporting events either in-person or online. When we couldn't attend in person, we were able to watch these events from home and it was a wonderful addition to our online programming. A special thank you goes out to Mr. Rometo, Mr. Rizzo, and our custodial crew for their efforts in making that happen. Good luck to our teams participating in the playoffs, and we are looking forward to our spring season.
Please continue to stay peaceful, happy, and safe; and enjoy the weekend.
The Riverview Administration