NYSED: safety needs to be at the forefront of school reopening plans

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday schools would reopen in the fall. The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) says safety should be the primary concern when students and teachers go back to school in September.

Schools had until last Friday to submit their plans for reopening. There are 127 schools that have yet to submit their plans to the state, Governor Cuomo said. Most local schools are using a combination of remote and in-class models.

“We must find a common way forward if we hope to move on safely and appropriately from this catastrophe. That must also include a statewide plan to assist all our districts and schools with purchasing Personal Protective Equipment and technology. The safety of our children and educators must be of utmost priority if we are to continue the monumental improvement that New York State has made in flattening the curve and ensure that we protect that progress,” said NYSED.

NYSED published a reopening guide for schools on Thursday. The 41-page document includes feedback from four regional meetings held earlier this summer. The School Reopening Task Force for Region Three which included most of the Capital Region was held on June 22.

“As we developed this guidance, we were mindful that COVID-19 has had a particularly harmful effect on people of color and those that are economically disadvantaged – in terms of health, employment, and their ability to receive the supports and resources necessary for a successful college experience,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa.

“As colleges shifted to off-campus learning models, many students from low-income and rural communities did not have access to the internet, technology, or the supports they need to meaningfully participate in remote learning. This kind of unequal access to resources only serves to strengthen the Regents’ resolve to ensure digital equity for all students,” Rosa said.

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