Second half plan: Stay the course

Pioneer School District is in the second half of 2020-21, more than 100 days into a school year like no other.

Superintendent Benjamin Halsey recently reflected on the Covid-19 situation in an automated message to parents. "Our thoughts, our conversations, and most importantly, our actions are still consumed by Covid-19. However, with this reflection also comes hope and evidence of better scenarios for our school district as the days tick off the calendar.  

"Our faculty, staff, administration, school board, students and community have weathered the worst of this situation and through hard work and diligent attention to key health and safety protocols. We are poised for a successful spring and steady return to the Pioneer experience we all know and love," he said.

Mid-March will mark the one year anniversary of the hard closure of school buildings. Pioneer continues to follow a hybrid model of online and in-person instruction, with some elementary students being allowed back for four days of in-person learning. The middle and high schools are weighing similar options.

Mr. Halsey noted the continuing improvement in regional infection rates. "By following the contact tracing protocols as they have evolved from the New York State Department of Health, and the health and safety protocols we have had in place at Pioneer since day one, our positive cases have not resulted in institutional spread.  The source of spread continues to be from outside contact in the personal lives of our staff and students."

As the district's plans to bring back students evolve, Mr. Halsey urged continued diligence in following health and safety protocols. He added that Pioneer will continue to make staff aware of area Covid-19 immunization clinics, which should help mitigate further spread.

"Thank you for your continued flexibility, patience, and hard work during a time that is still changing and evolving, almost daily," Mr. Halsey said.