Columbia Comeback: Governor Announces New York Schools Will Open in Fall
(WRGB) – New York schools have been given the go ahead to open in the fall.
“They are all authorized to open,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a conference call today.
Districts are planning how to adapt to new safety guidelines. That includes classroom learning, virtual learning as well as transportation on school buses.
“If any state can do it, this state can do it because we’ve been smart since day one,” Cuomo said. “We can bring the same level of intelligence that we brought to the economic reopening.”
Of the 800+ school districts in New York state, 127 districts have not submitted reopening plans to the New York State Department of Education. Fifty districts’ plans are incomplete. The department will continue to review plans over the weekend and notify districts if they need to resubmit their plans with more detail.
Cuomo said districts will be asked to more specifically address three elements of their plans: remote learning, COVID-19 testing for both students and teachers, and contact tracing. Those expanded plans will be submitted to the state and posted on the district websites.
“Different school districts have different theories,” Cuomo said. “But that question of testing for students an teachers is a high level of concerns.”
Cuomo stressed districts need to have discussions with the parents in their districts, a continuing theme in his conference calls and news conferences this week when talking about school reopening plans for the fall.
The governor is also asking each district to hold three online discussions with parents to answer questions that they have about the plans to return to learning in the fall. Those discussions need to be completed by August 21. For the big districts in New York – New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers, Albany, Mount Vernon, and Utica – five online discussions with parents will be held.
School districts will also be required to set up at least one discussion with teachers only to review plans and bring up any questions they want to have.