COVID-19 Information Updates

Covid Update - August 2022

Dear RSD Community,

I would like to start by thanking everyone for their patience and cooperation during the last two and a half years as we dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic.  There were some trying times, but we made it through, in larger measure thanks to the creativity and dedication of faculty and staff.

NYS and the CDC have released updated information regarding how schools and the community should handle Covid-19 exposures and positive cases, and I would like to update you all on how that will impact things are RSD.

Going forward, social distancing is no longer required and mask-wearing is optional and a personal decision.  Masks are only required if a staff member or a student is exposed to a positive case of Covid or if they are returning to work/school after a 5-day isolation.  

Lunch will return to being served and eaten in the Forrester dining room.  Visitors will be welcomed onto campus and into classrooms with the appropriate notice and approval.

I also want to clarify how the isolation time frame is calculated.  Day 0 is the day a person starts experiencing covid-like symptoms.  For example, let’s say a person starts to feel sick on a Wednesday, takes a Covid test on a Thursday, and receives a positive result on Saturday.  This means that their Day 0 is Wednesday and so their 5-day isolation ends on Tuesday and they should return to work/school on Wednesday while wearing a well-fitting mask through Sunday.  The isolation period may be extended to as many as 10 days if the person who tests positive is still experiencing a fever without the use of medication and is not experiencing lessening symptoms.  A person also does not need to test negative before returning to school/work.

If an exposure happens on campus, staff and parents will be notified, and the CDC recommendations will be followed, which include mask-wearing for 10 days and having a Covid test after five days.  As long as supplies last, RSD will either provide the test here on campus if consent is given or at-home test kits.

Many thanks again for your cooperation and support.

Antony A.L. McLetchie, Superintendent/CEO

February 28, 2022:  RSD will be MASK OPTIONAL starting on Wednesday

Hello RSD Community,

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a wonderful mid-winter recess.

As you are probably aware, Governor Hochul announced the lifting of the mask mandate for schools on Sunday, February 27, 2022.  Monroe County and Dr. Mendoza are in agreement with this decision.

I realize this news comes with mixed reactions depending on our personal circumstances.  It is a testament to the dedication of all in our community that the data now supports the lifting of the mandate at schools.  

As of Wednesday, March 2, 2022, RSD will be a mask optional campus.  This means that employees will have the option to choose to wear a mask or not, and families will determine whether their student(s), will wear a mask on campus.  We are still waiting for guidance from OCFS about whether masks will still be required in the dorms.

Whether someone chooses to continue to wear a mask or not, no pressure, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.  Please notify your building administrator or the Superintendent’s Office if there are any issues.  

Please note that whether or not masks are required on the school bus is up to the students’ home districts.  Please check with them for guidance.

As of right now, quarantine and exposure protocols remain the same.  If this changes, we will be sure to share that information with you.

As always, we want to continue to work together to keep our den safe.  Thank you in advance for helping us do that.


Antony A.L. McLetchie


January 10, 2022 Update

Dear RSD Families,


Thank you for your continued support as we returned from Winter Recess on Monday! While some may look to a new year for renewal and possibility, RSD’s staff has been working hard to stay the course and keep our school open. Here are a few updates:


Emergency Closure Plans

As we do every winter, the RSD has emergency closure plans in place for inclement weather or other emergency situations. We are committed to doing everything we can to stay open. Staffing shortages are occurring around our community, not just in schools. We are using all available personnel to keep our schools open. If we do need to use emergency closure days, often called snow days, we will. 


In an emergency situation, we will communicate with families as soon as possible as we are aware of the impact this would have on our entire school community.  Announcements such as these will be made through a variety of outlets including direct communication, social media, news media, and our website.


Updated COVID-19 Protocol Information (As of 1/6/22)

As a reminder, the following are current New York State Department of Health protocols:

  1. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, they may not attend school until the 5-day isolation is complete. Isolation is calculated by adding 5 days to the date of symptom onset (or positive test date, if they had no symptoms). 
  2. If your child is fully vaccinated and has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, NO quarantine is required. Individuals should wear a well-fitting mask when around others for 10 days after their exposure.
    1. If your child develops symptoms during this 10 day period, your child needs to isolate at home and seek a medical evaluation and PCR testing.
  3. If your child is NOT fully vaccinated and has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, a 5-day quarantine is required as well as wearing a well-fitting mask for the next 5 days. Day one of quarantine is the first day after the last day of unmasked exposure to the positive individual.
    1. Students may not test out of quarantine. 
    2. If your child develops symptoms during this 5-day quarantine, your child needs to isolate at home and seek a medical evaluation and PCR testing.
  4. Negative home test results are not permissible for return to school after illness. In order to return to school, a negative test must be performed by a healthcare provider’s office or a laboratory.  Monroe County is offering daily rapid tests.
  5. Students who develop new, unusual, or worsening symptoms associated with COVID-19, who have no known exposure to COVID-19, should stay home from school and seek a medical evaluation and/or COVID-19 testing. Rapid antigen or PCR testing is acceptable in the absence of any known exposure.


Please be sure to notify the Student Health Center as soon as possible if your child has tested positive for, or has been exposed to an individual with, COVID-19. The school nurse can help you navigate the process since the Monroe County Department of Public Health is taking several days to trace positive cases. COVID-19 school information can be found HERE.


We want to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for our students, our staff, and all of you as we continue this journey together.




Antony A.L. McLetchie


December 17, 2021 Update


We have heard your concerns regarding how RSD is handling notifying staff and families when a positive COVID case occurs among our staff and students.  We want to take this opportunity to explain our process and establish a new notification system.

We understand that staff and students may talk amongst themselves and that personal information may be shared.  As a school, we are bound by confidentiality.  This means we cannot disclose, confirm, or deny whether a certain person has been affected, even if they have voluntarily shared the information with a peer.

For the sake of transparency, and the need to alleviate baseless concerns, we will share how we handle notifications of positive cases.  When the Superintendent’s Office is notified of a positive case, either by the student’s family, the staff member directly or from a building administrator, Mr. McLetchie contacts RSD’s designated representative at the Monroe Public Health Department (MPHD).  When a staff or student from another county test positive, we again reach out to our designated representative and they act as a go-between for us.

RSD takes a proactive approach and begins contact tracing the infected person on campus.  Students who were potentially exposed to the infected person are sent to the SHC to be tested, as long as we have consent from their parents.  Staff who were potentially exposed are contacted directly and informed to get tested as a precaution as well.

In most cases, our staff and students are following the COVID protocols, such as wearing their masks when in a room/hall with others and maintaining a safe social distance.  This reduces the need for additional contact tracing and the potential for exposure among staff and students.  

If it is found that mask-wearing and social distancing were not maintained around a confirmed positive case, the school may decide to quarantine the entire class.  This is handled on a case-by-case basis.

With all of that said, RSD is implementing a new notification system.  RSD will no longer send out individual emails for each case that pops up at RSD; a Google sheet will be updated every Friday with the number of students and staff who tested positive during the week and was verified by the county.  The link to the sheet will be shared on our website in the COVID-19 Information and it will be up to you to check it for updates. 

Please know that RSD takes the health and safety of students and staff very seriously.  Mask wearing is now, once again, mandated by the State and this time, a fine of $1,000 is attached to each violation, for both the violator themselves as well as the school.

Mask wearing, so that it covers your mouth and nose, as well as social distancing is the best way to stop the spread of COVID and we ask for your assistance in complying with both.  In addition to those, the vaccine is now available to everyone over the age of 5.


September 20, 2021
Hello Parents/Guardians,
Hard to believe we are now one and half weeks into the 2021-2022 school year! Thank you to our staff and faculty for a smooth re-opening of the school year.  I know our students are very excited to return to five days of in-person instruction. I would like to update you on a few things…..
As RSD is entering its 145th year, we had a successful orientation day on Tuesday, September 7, and a smashing success of a day for our students on Wednesday, September 8! I am pleased to share that we have 17 new staff members on campus along with 140 students. We are expecting a few more new students to be added within the next few weeks. 
We decided the theme for this school year is “Re-connect”, now is the time for our school community to reconnect and move forward with having us work with your children. We as a school feel moving forward from an unprecedented situation requires everyone to reconnect with themselves, peers, adults in the school, and to their learning. Through this process, we all will rebound and come out stronger!
I was pleased to see many students and staff/faculty showing their spirit during spirit week this past week. Thank you to our athletic department for hosting a wonderful pep rally to get our spirit high and getting our soccer and volleyball teams ready for our homecoming games against Delaware School for the Deaf! Clearly, this demonstrates COVID-19 cannot deter our spirit!  Congratulations to both the soccer and volleyball teams for defeating Delaware during your matches.
We will reconnect with our strategic plan which includes a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, academic rigor, family and community partnership, and student experience. More information on this will be posted on our website. 
Lastly, I would like to provide a gentle reminder that if your child is sick or experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain at home.  They will need a negative test result or a doctor’s note stating an alternate diagnosis to return to school.  More information regarding our reopening plan and flow charts from Monroe County Public Health can be found on our website.  The flow charts explain what to do if you or your child have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19.
Thank you for trusting us to have your children attend RSD this year!
Antony A.L. McLetchie

September 2, 2021


2021-2022 School Year

Reopening Plan

Rochester School for the Deaf is looking forward to welcoming your children back to school on September 8, 2021 for in-person instruction five days per week. Again, the health and safety of our students, parents/guardians, staff, faculty and community is still our top priority at RSD. We will remain aligned with the latest guideline by the New York State Department of Education (August 12, 2021) and Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) (dated August 5, 2021) related to COVID-19. 

This document provides guidance on different areas while we move forward with opening the 2021-2022 school year. We look forward to seeing your children here next week! Please check the following link for updates: 

This link will continue to update as we move forward and procedures and guidance evolves through the school year. 

Face Mask 

RSD will start the year with students and faculty/staff, regardless of vaccination status, wearing masks inside all buildings on campus. Masks will not be required outside and teachers will be encouraged to hold classes outside whenever possible. Students will be given mask breaks throughout the day. Students who need a clean mask during the school day may stop in the main office to get one.

RSD made this based on the strong recommendation from Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The American Academy of Pediatrics, New York State Department of Health, New York State Education Department, and Monroe County Department of Public Health Department (MCDPH).

In addition to this, Governor Kathy Hochul ordered all students, staff and visitors inside school buildings to wear masks, a mandate that will not just apply to public school districts but also to private, charter, and religious schools throughout New York.

Face-coverings are not required when employees are alone in a classroom, other building rooms, office, and in a school vehicle. If another person enters the location, a mask must be worn.


Physical Distancing

Distancing requirements will be changed to three feet.

Health Screening 

Students and staff no longer have to complete morning screenings, but we ask that parents continue to screen their children at home and staff to self-assess prior to entering school. We are asking you screen at home for any of the following: 

  • Temperature of >100℉
  • Fever, chills
  • shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscles or body aches

If a student exhibits any of the above, they will not go to school and the parent/guardian will be required to contact their health care provider and follow the process indicated in the MCPHD flow charts. The charts are available through the links provided above this document.

If a student develops any of the symptoms above at school, they will be directed to the school nurse and placed in isolation until the parent can pick them up from school. 

The same process is in place for staff members. If a staff member exhibits any of the above, they will not go to school and will be required to contact their health care provider and follow the process indicated in the MCDPH flow charts. These charts are provided in the links above this document.


RSD will utilize the cafeteria for high school program only at this time and we will ensure at least 3 foot distancing of students during lunch. When students finish eating or get up from the table, they will need to wear a mask. The rest of the school will eat in their classroom.

Cleaning and Disinfection

RSD will continue with appropriate cleaning and disinfection practices.

​​Hygiene Practices

A strong focus on hand hygiene will continue. RSD will provide adequate handwashing/hand sanitizing supplies.



Limited during the 2021-2022 school year and at the discretion of building administrators. No visitors during lunch. Visitors must wear a mask prior to entering the building.


After School Program/Athletics


  • Indoor activities require face covering.
    • Face coverings are required for all individuals in the building including players, coaches, referees, and spectators if allowed.
    • Face coverings are required at all times including practices and games.
  • Outdoor activities encourage the use of face coverings.
    • Social distancing must be in effect if facial coverings are not being utilized.



  • Face coverings are required at all times in school vehicles and buses.


Locker rooms and equipment

  • Minimal use of locker room and equipment
  • Maintain at least 3 feet at all times, masked and bring belongings and equipment home daily to clean
  • Athletes should bring their own individual water bottles to practices/games.
  • Athletes are strongly discouraged from sharing equipment
  • Staff must supervise locker room use.



  • No spectators indoors in September, monitored month by month
  • Outdoor spectators are required to wear face covering regardless of vaccination status in September, monitored month by month
  • Families and households are allowed to sit together and not required to be socially distant.

Attendance/Contact Tracing

  • Accurate attendance records continue to remain important for contact tracing purposes. Coaches should be sure to take attendance each day and have access to it if we are asked by the Monroe County Department of Public Health. 




August 25, 2021




Hello RSD Community: Parents/Guardians, Faculty and Staff and Students,

It is hard to believe the 2021-2022 school year is right around the corner. As a reminder, the first day of school for students is on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on this fall’s plan.

We will provide in-person instruction five days a week to all K-12 students.  The instruction days for the ECC program will vary based on the child’s age. The health, wellness, and safety of our students, staff and families is our priority and we take this seriously. Mask wearing and vaccination are the two best ways to stay safe and beat this virus. Currently, anyone over 12 and up can be vaccinated and we encourage you to please check your local health agency and local full-service pharmacy for more information or to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

Our school reopening plan will be posted early next week, as we are waiting for some additional directives from our new governor, Gov. Hochul this week. 

As of right now, some key points of our plan for you to know are:

  1. Masks will be mandatory in all buildings on RSD campus for all students, staff, and essential visitors regardless of vaccination status. Masks will be optional outside for recess or PE class. We will provide mask breaks during the school day. 
  2. We will resume fall sports and the after school program following CDC, Monroe Public Health Department, and New York State Public High School Athletic Association guidelines.
  3. We will continue to follow the guidance from the CDC of maintaining at least 3 feet of social distancing. 
  4. We will continue to monitor the air quality in all buildings. 
  5. We will continue with daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  6. We will no longer require the daily screening forms but expect parents and staff to monitor their children and themselves for symptoms of infectious illness everyday through home-based symptom screening.  If someone is exhibiting symptoms they should NOT come to school.  If someone exhibiting symptoms does come to school, they will be sent home.
  7. We will continue to work with Monroe County Public Health regarding any possible outbreak on campus.

I am very pleased to share that our extended school year was a huge success with 5 days in-person instruction. Your effort to make sure our students wear masks and having your child vaccinated makes a difference! 

Thank you for your continued patience while we wait for more information from the state and local level regarding some specific plans, but I believe the key information above will remain the same moving forward. We all, as a school community, are ready to start the new school year at the same time prepared to adjust and be flexible as well. 



Hola, comunidad de RSD: padres / tutores, profesores, personal y estudiantes,

Es difícil creer que el año escolar 2021-2022 está a la vuelta de la esquina. Como recordatorio, el primer día de clases para los estudiantes es el miércoles 8 de septiembre de 2021. Me gustaría aprovechar esta oportunidad para actualizarlos sobre el plan de este otoño.

Proporcionaremos instrucción en persona cinco días a la semana a todos los estudiantes de K-12. Los días de instrucción para el programa ECC variarán según la edad del niño. La salud, el bienestar y la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes, personal y familias es nuestra prioridad y nos lo tomamos en serio. El uso de mascarillas y la vacunación son las dos mejores formas de mantenerse a salvo y vencer a este virus. Actualmente, cualquier persona mayor de 12 años en adelante puede vacunarse y le recomendamos que consulte con la agencia de salud local y la farmacia de servicio completo local para obtener más información o para hacer una cita para vacunarse.

Nuestro plan de reapertura de la escuela se publicará a principios de la próxima semana, ya que estamos esperando algunas directivas adicionales de nuestro nuevo gobernador, el gobernador Hochul esta semana.

A partir de ahora, algunos puntos clave de nuestro plan que debe conocer son:

  1. Las máscaras serán obligatorias en todos los edificios del campus de RSD para todos los estudiantes, el personal y los visitantes esenciales, independientemente del estado de vacunación. Las máscaras serán opcionales afuera para el recreo o la clase de educación física. Proporcionaremos descansos para las mascarillas durante el día escolar.
  2. Reanudaremos los deportes de otoño y el programa después de la escuela siguiendo las pautas de los CDC, el Departamento de Salud Pública de Monroe y la Asociación Atlética de Escuelas Secundarias Públicas del Estado de Nueva York.
  3. Continuaremos siguiendo la guía de los CDC de mantener al menos 3 pies de distancia social.
  4. Continuaremos monitoreando la calidad del aire en todos los edificios.
  5. Continuaremos con los protocolos diarios de limpieza y desinfección.
  6. Ya no necesitaremos los formularios de detección diaria, pero esperamos que los padres y el personal controlen a sus hijos y a ellos mismos todos los días para detectar síntomas de enfermedades infecciosas a través de la detección de síntomas en el hogar. Si alguien presenta síntomas, NO debe venir a la escuela. Si alguien que presenta síntomas llega a la escuela, será enviado a casa.
  7. Continuaremos trabajando con Salud Pública del Condado de Monroe con respecto a cualquier posible brote en el campus.

Estoy muy contento de compartir que nuestro año escolar extendido fue un gran éxito con 5 días de instrucción en persona. ¡Su esfuerzo para asegurarse de que nuestros estudiantes usen máscaras y vacunar a su hijo hace la diferencia!

Gracias por su paciencia continua mientras esperamos más información a nivel estatal y local con respecto a algunos planes específicos, pero creo que la información clave anterior seguirá siendo la misma en el futuro. Todos, como comunidad escolar, estamos listos para comenzar el nuevo año escolar al mismo tiempo preparados para adaptarnos y ser flexibles.


Antony McLetchie



Bonjour la communauté RSD : parents/tuteurs, professeurs, personnel et étudiants,

Il est difficile de croire que l'année scolaire 2021-2022 approche à grands pas. Pour rappel, le premier jour d'école pour les élèves est le mercredi 8 septembre 2021. J'aimerais profiter de cette occasion pour vous mettre à jour sur le plan de cet automne.

Nous fournirons un enseignement en personne cinq jours par semaine à tous les élèves de la maternelle à la 12e année. Les jours d'instruction pour le programme ECC varieront en fonction de l'âge de l'enfant. La santé, le bien-être et la sécurité de nos élèves, de notre personnel et de nos familles sont notre priorité et nous prenons cela au sérieux. Le port du masque et la vaccination sont les deux meilleurs moyens de rester en sécurité et de vaincre ce virus. Actuellement, toute personne âgée de plus de 12 ans peut être vaccinée et nous vous encourageons à consulter votre agence de santé locale et votre pharmacie locale à service complet pour plus d'informations ou pour prendre rendez-vous pour vous faire vacciner.

Notre plan de réouverture de l'école sera publié au début de la semaine prochaine, car nous attendons des directives supplémentaires de notre nouveau gouverneur, le gouverneur Hochul cette semaine.

Pour le moment, voici quelques points clés de notre plan que vous devez connaître :

  1. Les masques seront obligatoires dans tous les bâtiments du campus RSD pour tous les étudiants, le personnel et les visiteurs essentiels, quel que soit leur statut vaccinal. Les masques seront facultatifs à l'extérieur pour la récréation ou le cours d'éducation physique. Nous assurerons des pauses masques pendant la journée scolaire.
  2. Nous reprendrons les sports d'automne et le programme parascolaire conformément aux directives du CDC, du département de santé publique de Monroe et de la New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
  3. Nous continuerons de suivre les directives du CDC de maintenir au moins 3 pieds de distance sociale.
  4. Nous continuerons de surveiller la qualité de l'air dans tous les bâtiments.
  5. Nous continuerons les protocoles de nettoyage et de désinfection quotidiens.
  6. Nous n'aurons plus besoin des formulaires de dépistage quotidien, mais nous attendons des parents et du personnel qu'ils surveillent leurs enfants et eux-mêmes pour détecter les symptômes de maladies infectieuses tous les jours grâce à un dépistage des symptômes à domicile. Si quelqu'un présente des symptômes, il ne devrait PAS venir à l'école. Si une personne présentant des symptômes vient à l'école, elle sera renvoyée chez elle.
  7. Nous continuerons de travailler avec la santé publique du comté de Monroe concernant toute épidémie possible sur le campus.

Je suis très heureux de partager que notre année scolaire prolongée a été un énorme succès avec 5 jours d'enseignement en personne. Vos efforts pour faire en sorte que nos élèves portent des masques et faire vacciner votre enfant fait une différence!

Merci pour votre patience continue pendant que nous attendons plus d'informations de l'état et du niveau local concernant certains plans spécifiques, mais je pense que les informations clés ci-dessus resteront les mêmes à l'avenir. Nous tous, en tant que communauté scolaire, sommes prêts à commencer la nouvelle année scolaire en même temps, prêts à nous adapter et à être flexibles.


Antony McLetchie

July 1, 2021
Rochester School for the Deaf continues to follow New York State Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines for Pre-K to 12th Grade schools.
All individuals 12 years of age and older that reside in New York State are eligible to receive the vaccine using this link. Individuals 12-17 years old must have a parent/legal guardian with them to consent in person. Only Pfizer has been approved for individuals 12-17 years old. Click here to view a calendar of available dates, times, & locations and schedule your appointment. Click here for a list of mass vaccination sites and community vaccine clinics in Monroe County.