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Falconer BOE OKs Fall Festivities, COVID Update

FALCONER — Falconer Central School District is attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy when it comes to annual fall festivities such as Homecoming and band trips. The district is going ahead with plans for Homecoming and other related events, albeit with precautions in place.

“We started out the meeting – there was a number of questions in regards to homecoming,” said Superintendent Stephen Penhollow. “The district is going to be trying to stick with as normal outside homecoming activities as possible. We will be doing the annual parade which will be at 6 p.m. on October 7, and the homecoming game will be at 7 p.m. on October 8th. We are going to do an outside dance in the all-weather facility on the evening of October 9th from 7 to 10 p.m.”

Penhollow said the district is trying to do everything they can to “control the spread of COVID-19.”

“At this point, we feel that having an outside dance, although it’s not the same as having an indoor dance, it’s the safest alternative we can come up with.”

In similar news, the board of education approved two marching band trips to Syracuse and Victor. The board also approved a trip for the cross country team to venture to the McQueen invitational in Rochester.

“Last year, we didn’t do many of the trips, and this year, we’re going to continue to do everything we can to offer the best experience we can to not only our band students but our cross country students as well,” Penhollow said. “They’ve been working very hard all throughout the summer. We’re very excited about them having the opportunity to go to the Carrier dome and perform. What an awesome place to perform and experience.”

He also provided The Post-Journal with an update on how the school is faring with COVID-19 cases.

“We haven’t been able to trace a lot of internal if any, internal spread,” said Penhollow. “The vast majority of the spread is coming from outside and into the school, We do have a number that is changing every day – we’ve been ranging from anywhere from 10-15 kids being quarantined up to as high as 50 being quarantined. The quarantining numbers are fluctuating on a regular basis.”

Penhollow said the students who are quarantined are being provided a tutor, as well as other distance learning opportunities through live streaming or other options.

“Having the one-to-one devices has proven to be very important,” he said.

Penhollow said there is a range of 5-7 positive COVID-19 cases in the district at this time.

“Some of them were earlier at the end of last week, but a lot of family spread we are still seeing,” he said. “Which is very common. We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t seen spread in school. We are tending to see a lot of quarantining is on the bus and at lunch. Those are two areas where kids are unmasked at lunch for a longer period of time to eat, and the distancing is more difficult as well. That’s the tough part.”

Penhollow said the district is doing everything possible to “keep the doors open and keep the kids safe,” as well as providing students with the “highest quality education” that is possible.

“We just encourage people to be understanding,” he said. “If they do have questions or concerns, please let us know. But as every other public school in New York State, we’re required to follow the mandates.”

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