Pulaski Street Elementary School in April 2020. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Elementary school students will not be back in school five days per week until Jan. 11, Riverhead Central School District announced this evening.

New COVID positive cases at Pulaski Street, Roanoke Avenue, Phillips Avenue and Riley Avenue schools led to a decision to push back a planned return to full-time in-person instruction in K-6 classrooms until Jan. 11, Riverhead Central School District Interim Superintendent Christine Tona said in a letter to the community posted on the district website.

The district’s four K-4 elementary schools were scheduled to return to five-day in-person instruction Dec. 1. 

“I want nothing more than to have our students in school full time,” Tona said. “But we cannot take undue risks during this pandemic.”

Pulaski Street School, which was closed to in-person instruction today after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19, will join Roanoke Avenue and Phillips Avenue elementary schools in shutting down in-person instruction through Nov. 30, Tona wrote in her letter.

A student at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School has also tested positive following last week’s reported infection of a Roanoke staff member, Tona said. 

Last week, three teachers at Pulaski Street School, a student at Phillips Avenue School and a Riverhead High School teacher also tested positive.  The high school was the only school that did not shut down in-person instruction as a result.

Currently, in-person hybrid instruction continues at Riley Avenue and Aquebogue elementary schools, Riverhead Middle School and Riverhead High School. 

The county’s contact tracers have determined that “almost all” of the positive cases in the school district have originated outside of the school district, Tona said.

Contact tracers will continue reaching out to close contacts of those infected to advise them to quarantine, Tona said.

“We will continue to monitor the infection rate in our community, and I will notify you if any additional closures are necessary,” Tona wrote. “Together, we will get through this health crisis.”

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.