Cuomo to Decide Whether Schools Reopen at All as Districts Announce Plans
As school districts across Central New York announce their reopening plans, all their plans hinge on the decision of Governor Cuomo, who says he'll determine whether schools reopen at all this year.
Schools districts have until July 31st to submit their extensive reopening plans to the New York State Education Department. Each district has to submit plans for all in-person, all virtual, and hybrid instruction. Plans must comply with current guidance issued by the state's Department of Health, and the education department.
Many local districts say they'll opt for a hybrid plan, with students attending school part of the week, and getting lessons online for the remaining days. In many cases, students are being split into groups, with each attending on different days. School district are working to hammer out the details of their plans, even as guidance evolves on an almost daily basis.
Schools remain closed across the state, since they were shut down by the Governor in March. Cuomo has said he plans to announce whether schools are cleared to open for any type of in-person instruction next week. The best laid plans of every district are subject to Cuomo's decision on school reopening. The Governor has said he plans to look at coronavirus data when making his determination.
"Schools in a region can reopen if that region is in Phase IV of reopening and if its daily infection rate remains below 5 percent or lower using a 14-day average since unPAUSE was lifted. Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average, after August 1," the Governor announced.
If the Governor gives the green light for districts to open, there's always the possibility schools could be forced to close again if cases spike in any region.
As September gets closer, it's safe to say this school year will be unlike any other.