CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (News10) — When it comes to COVID protocols school districts are now moving on to the next chapter in the rulebook for the “new normal,” at least that’s how Christopher Robilotti feels. He’s the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Safe Schools for the South Colonie School District.

NEWS10’s Anya Tucker asked Robilotti if the start of the 2022-23 school year feels more like it did pre-Covid. Robilotti responded with an affirmative, “It absolutely does.” This year his district and others are following more relaxed CDC guidelines and information that feels much more clear than last year. “Parents and students and staff would hear one thing, but it wasn’t really in effect yet in our state. So, it was nice to have a smooth alliance this time,” added Robilotti.

Bob Lowry, the deputy director at the NYS Council of School Superintendents breaks down the biggest changes. “Probably the biggest change is around quarantine requirements,” said Lowry. Under the old rules if a student or staff member was exposed to Covid they were required to quarantine, generally for 10 days and only allowed to return if they possessed a negative test result. “That requirement has gone away and that’s very welcome. Also, the guidance and the requirements for unvaccinated staff to be tested weekly. Those are the big changes that I think will be most visible to families,” he added.

Robilotti said some of the same pre-covid rules still apply. “Being fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. The old rules that we used to operate under they are still there a home. A test would just expedite things a little bit.”

At Saddlewood Elementary in the South Colonie school district things felt pretty much like pre-pandemic times; with kids moving through the lunch line and teachers spelling out the rules in the cafeteria. Anya asked Robilotti to share his advice for parents no matter what district their kids are in. “Best advice, if your child is ill they should stay home. And you know, work with your school nurses and try to be on the same page as them as far as when your child can return.”