The following letter sent to the Edgemont school community Oct. 23 is reprinted here per the writer’s permission.

As we all look toward November and December, many families have begun to consider plans for the holidays. I know it’s hard for us to even fathom celebrating without extended family and festivities. I also know that we are all more than ready for pandemic precautions to end in general. But, no matter how frustrating the situation may be, it is still up to us to keep our school community safe. The purpose of this email is to remind you that your family’s decisions regarding the holidays can potentially impact our schools’ ability to remain open.

As of today, there are 38 states and two territories on New York State’s restricted list — meaning that travelers who arrive in New York from any of these places must quarantine for 14 days. Similarly, travelers from all but 31 countries worldwide are also required to quarantine for 14 days.

I ask you to consider the safety of all of us as you make your holiday plans. Should you decide to host visitors or travel to one of the places on the restricted list, I ask that you adhere to the mandatory quarantine protocols. If your K-12 children are in close, indoor proximity to other people who have come from these restricted areas (e.g. an older sibling home from college), I ask that you consider having your child learn remotely until the 14-day period is over for the safety of the rest of our community.

If you’d like more guidance and information, the CDC’s recommendations for holiday celebrations can be found online at Also, please know that we will carefully monitor the COVID-19 transmission rates in Westchester County throughout the holiday period and adjust our school plans accordingly if we need to. 

I know that these are not the holidays anyone could have ever envisioned, even as we welcomed 2020 in 10 months ago. But I urge you to remember how thrilled we all are, the students, teachers, administrators and parents, that our schools have been able to remain open thus far. Please continue to do all you can to ensure the safety of our school community throughout the holiday season.

As always, I thank you for your continued partnership and cooperation.

Victoria Kniewel

Superintendent of Schools

Edgemont Union Free School District

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