Rome Free Academy goes virtual, BOE discusses next steps

After one confirmed positive test from an individual at RFA and one with an individual serving the school, a number of staff members were forced to quarantine, forcing the school to go virtual until November 30.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 11:11 PM

ROME, N.Y. - The rise in coronavirus cases in our region is now affecting the Rome City School District.

The district sent out a letter confirming that one person at Rome Free Academy and a member of the Birnie Bus service that transports RFA and Ridge Mills Elementary students have tested positive for the virus.

Due to staff shortages caused by quarantines at RFA, the school will now go fully remote starting Thursday until Nov. 30.

The Board of Education met virtually to discuss the district's next steps on Wednesday night.

Board members discussed what could happen if Oneida County goes into a yellow zone, which is a 7 or 10-day average of positive cases higher than 2.5%.

If that happens, the district would have to test 20% of students and staff over the course of two weeks if in-person learning should continue.

Rome superintendent, Peter Blake, says it's not just virus transmission that will keep students out of the classroom, but managing quarantine periods is also a big factor.

"Do I think we can make it through with minimal virus concerns? I do. Do I think we can make it through with quarantine issues? I do not. And then we're weighing the consistency issue of do you keep playing this game where Monday you're okay, by Tuesday you have to close down a few schools for a couple days because of quarantining or in the case of RFA, we're short until November 30," Blake said.

The board expressed that they want to inform families if the district chooses to go remote after Thanksgiving, within the next five school days to give them time to plan for students to go virtual.

The district administration will take recommendations from the board and is hoping to have a final decision by Thanksgiving.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1611031

Reported Deaths: 47156
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2061178675
Kings2046548996
Suffolk1595713049
Nassau1452902890
Bronx1402445807
Westchester1055502078
New York1005843852
Erie640661585
Richmond558791558
Monroe51913977
Rockland37948884
Orange36102720
Onondaga32054620
Dutchess21862404
Albany20526328
Oneida19519475
Niagara15100309
Broome14412333
Saratoga11723145
Schenectady10685177
Ulster9854226
Rensselaer8860130
Putnam820486
Chautauqua7213122
Chemung6397130
Oswego593589
Ontario569988
Steuben5452137
St. Lawrence533680
Cayuga531287
Jefferson468163
Sullivan466259
Herkimer4531106
Wayne440964
Genesee4335118
Cattaraugus432476
Madison379284
Livingston347855
Clinton346826
Tompkins341442
Columbia334794
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Montgomery3121105
Cortland310260
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Washington227952
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Lewis202630
Franklin199612
Seneca156453
Delaware146933
Essex131726
Schoharie117612
Yates101126
Schuyler85212
Hamilton2772
Unassigned217137
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