New York school board says if sports can continue, schools should fully reopen


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FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — The Fairport school board is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to explain what data is being looked at to determine when students can return to school full-time in person.

While school board members and the superintendent said they’re glad students are able to play sports again, it was that announcement that made them curious about what metrics are being used to make decisions relating to schools.

Tim Slisz is the Fairport school board president. He said after the sports announcement he had questions and wrote a letter to Gov. Cuomo and other elected officials to ask them. The letter was also sent to Dr. Mendoza, the New York state health commissioner, county executive Adam Bello, and others.

“We were a little perplexed as to how that was able to occur without the children in school,” Slisz said of the sports announcement. “We’re glad our kids can play sports because so many kids need this. What criteria was used, what criteria are we using, please just clarify some things for us.”

Superintendent Brett Provenzano said this isn’t the district saying to bring students back immediately, they just want context.

“We’re asking what should be our guardrail to move forward. I think that’s fair for the community, what needs to be in place for us to continue to talk about ways to offer opportunities to students that does not compromise the health safety and well being of our students and staff,” he said.

He said this is especially important for the students who aren’t athletes.

“We also know our performing artists need similar opportunities. What will it take for that to happen? And I think the advocacy letter is just asking that question, provide those guidelines and the framework so our students can know exactly where we are.”

Provenzano said knowing these things ahead of time will also help the districts prepare for the future.

“We can’t go day-to-day and learn on a Friday night via social media that we’re all coming back to school because that’s gonna take weeks upon weeks of planning.”

NEWS10’s sister station in Rochester spoke with Monroe County legislator Paul Dondorfer, who said he sent a letter to the Penfield superintendent asking him to reconsider full-time in-person learning in that district. Dondorfer said he believes it’s time for all students to be back.

Read the full letter below:

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