On Friday, Aug. 7, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that schools across New York state will be allowed to reopen in the fall.
Since submitting Broadalbin-Perth’s reopening plan to the State Education Department and Department of Health on July 31, district leaders have revised the plan for daily health screening and added details to the plans for various learning models. Specifically:
- Parents will NOT be required to complete a daily health self-screening tool for their children. Instead, student temperatures will be checked daily before they board the school bus and as they enter the school building. Staff temperatures will also be taken as they enter the building. The district will be using touch-free technology to take temperatures in an effort to expedite the school arrival process.
- Any student or staff member who has an elevated body temperature will be referred to their doctor, who will determine if COVID-19 testing is appropriate. The district will require a doctor’s note before that individual can return to school for in-person instruction.
- At the elementary school, parents will have three options: 100% in-person, half-day hybrid, and 100% remote.
- All students attending school in-person will have special-area classes (art, music, physical education, Project Lead the Way). Special-area classes will take place in the regular classroom, the special-area classroom, or outside, weather permitting.
- Children will have recess.
- Classes will have options in terms of where they eat lunch each day, including in the classroom, in the cafeteria, and outside.
- In the half-day hybrid model, students will attend school in-person in the morning and participate in remote learning activities in the afternoon. Bus transportation and before-school child care will be available. Parents will be responsible for midday transportation. After-school child care will NOT be available for students in the half-day hybrid model.
- At the high school, counselors are working to ensure that children from the same household are scheduled to come to school for in-person instruction on the same days.
- All juniors and seniors attending career and technical programs at HFM BOCES will take their B-P courses through remote learning.
- All seniors will be placed in the 100% remote learning model.
District leaders also decided to move planned staff professional development days from October and November to the week of Labor Day, meaning the first day of the school year for students will be no earlier than Monday, Sept. 14. District leaders are considering a staggered start to the school year, which would mean not all students would return to school for in-person instruction on Sept. 14, but they are still working through the details and feasibility of that plan.
On July 13, Cuomo announced that schools will be allowed to hold in-person instruction if they are in a region that has a daily infection rate of 5% or less over a 14-day average. As of Aug. 7, all regions in New York meet that threshold, including the Mohawk Valley region, but if there is a spike in the infection rate, Cuomo said he would revisit the question of schools reopening.