New York State Releases School Reopening Guidance, Safety Plan Outline

Pixabay / MGN Image

ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo says there will be no one size fits all approach to reopening schools this fall.

The state released its list of guidelines on Monday, but is leaving the specifics up to each school district.

Across the board , districts need to create a flexible plan. Teachers and students will be required to wear face coverings and social distancing will have to be enforced, and not just in the classroom, the Governor says students will have to wear masks even on school buses.

Schools will also have to utilize classrooms and any extra space to spread students out during lunchtime, or any meal served during school hours. Schools can begin to reopen if a region is in phase four and the daily infection rates are below five percent or lower over a 14 day period.

“If you have the virus under control, reopen. If you don’t have the virus under control, then you can’t reopen, right? We’re not going to use our children as a litmus test and we’re not going to put our children in a place where their health is in danger. It’s that simple,” Cuomo said.

School districts will have until July 31st to submit their reopening plans to the state.

The 28-page document released by the State Department of Education covers a range of topics, including:

  • Communication/Family & Community
  • Engagement
  • Health and Safety
  • Facilities
  • Child Nutrition
  • Transportation
  • Social Emotional Well-Being
  • School Schedules
  • Budget and Fiscal Matters
  • Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
  • Technology and Connectivity
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Special Education
  • Bilingual Education and
  • World Languages
  • Staffing


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