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Friday, September 25, 2020

Top Stories > Education

NY schools get go-ahead from state to open in-person

Aug 13, 2020

By Isabel Braverman - staff writer

REGION — All school districts in New York State had to submit a reopening plan by July 31. Many schools submitted their plans earlier than that and have already planned on some form of in-person instruction.
Last Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that based on each region's infection rate, schools across the state are permitted to open this fall.
Every region's infection rate is below the threshold necessary by the state's standards to open schools. The Department of Health will review submitted reopening plans from school districts.

The determination of how individual districts reopen - in-person vs. a hybrid model - will be made by local school districts under strict Department of Health guidelines.
The Governor also announced that school districts must post their remote learning plan online as well as their plan for testing and tracing students and teachers.
Schools must also have three to five public meetings prior to August 21 with parents—who will be allowed to participate remotely—as well as one meeting with teachers to go through their reopening plan.
“Based on our infection rate, New York State is in the best possible situation right now. If anybody can open schools, we can open schools. We do masks, we do social distancing, we've kept that infection rate down, and we can bring the same level of intelligence to the school reopening that we brought to the economic reopening,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.
On Monday Cuomo announced that 107 of the 749 school districts across the state have not submitted a plan for in-person learning. Districts that fail to turn in a plan by today will be unable to provide in-person learning this year.
Out of the school districts in Sullivan County, Eldred Central School District was on the list. However, according to Eldred Superintendent John Morgano, they turned their plan in on July 27, before the deadline of July 31. This was confirmed by a state representative.
As previously reported in the Democrat, Eldred's plan is a 50/50 model where half of the students are in school one week, and the other half the next week.
The school sent out a survey to parents and 87 percent said they want in-school instruction. There will continue to be forums for parents, students and teachers.
This comes as schools across the country grapple with the decision to open or not. Etowah High School in Georgia opened on August 3 and on Tuesday morning 59 students and staff in the district tested positive for COVID-19 and 900 have been ordered to quarantine.
In Sullivan County there are currently five active cases as of presstime and 50 deaths total. The number of positive cases has been under 20 since around mid-June.
Schools in the Wayne Highlands School District will offer three choices for students: traditional learning in-person five days a week, learning at home in a virtual environment, or a virtual campus in coordination with partners.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health there have been 155 total confirmed cases in Wayne County and ten deaths.
“The Wayne Highlands' Plan has been developed fully cognizant that families may view the reopening of school differently. As a result, to begin the school year, we are providing three instructional options,” said Superintendent Greg Frigoletto in a statement.

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