In a teleconference conference call on Friday, August 7, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that public schools will be permitted to conduct in-person classes beginning in the fall. Due to power outages in the downstate area, the governor was unable to conduct his typical televised press briefing.
“By our [NYS] infection rates, all school districts can open everywhere in the state. Every region is below the threshold that we established,” Cuomo stated. “We are probably in the best situation in the country right now, as incredible as that is. So, if anybody can open schools, we can open schools.”
Keeping parents informed and ensuring the health and safety for teachers will be the biggest challenge to reopening plans for schools. The governor advised schools districts to post their remote learning plans to parents and teachers. Districts should also publicly post what the COVID-19 testing protocols are for students, teachers, and staff. Of interest for all stakeholders is the availability of virus tests and developing plans for action in the event of students or staff test positive. The deadline to develop and submit these plans to the Department of Health is Friday, August 14, 2020.
The governor highly recommends holding three (3) forums between district leaders, teachers, and families to answer any questions, provide feedback and insight, and to address specific educational and health concerns with reopening plans. For the Big 5 school districts (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Yonkers, and New York City), Cuomo recommends five separate forums between now and Aug 21 when schools begin to open.
Brockport Research Institute provides grant-writing, evaluation, and professional learning services. For questions or more information, please call the office (585) 431- 3416 or contact us: info@BrockportResearchInstitute.com.