NY school districts working on reopening plans by Friday deadline

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — School districts across New York have less than a week before their reopening plans are due to the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to decide next week if schools will be open for in-class instruction based on a formula.

Many school districts have not made their full plans public, yet. 

“What we’ve seen anecdotally is that most likely a lot of these school districts will have the hybrid plan,” said New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider.

Schneider said that means it will be a mix of in-class instruction and remote learning. The goal is to maximize space for social distancing. 

Schneider said the key elements of the state’s guidelines for district requirements are “what we see in society in general.”

“Mask requirements, social distancing, the hand sanitizing, the cleaning of the facilities. The screening, if you will, the checking for symptoms, and things like that of both students and administrators and teachers,” he said.  

He said one of the biggest concerns is the funding to implement the new policies. 

“We all want to see children go back to school, but everybody has to be safe in there, and if we don’t have the funding from the federal government, our most creative ideas and plans are not going to happen successfully without the funding that we need,” Schneider said.

He said another big question is “will teachers and students be comfortable enough going back to school?”

“We’re hoping to see that the plans are in place and that there is confidence that everyone will be healthy and safe so that they can have the in-classroom instruction that students need,” Schneider said.  

At this time, the New York State Department of Education doesn’t have a count on how many school districts have submitted plans, yet.

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