Students wait to receive school laptops for home study March 19, 2020, at the Lower East Side Preparatory School in New York.
(The Center Square) – The New York State Education Department has issued detailed guidance for safely reopening schools in the fall.
“The guidance disseminated to schools today accounts for the health and safety of our children, teachers and school personnel while encouraging equitable access to the services and resources necessary for a high-quality education,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said in a news release.
The Board of Regents and Education Department determined the guidance with input from more than 1,650 educators, students, parents and other stakeholders during four virtual meetings over the past month.
“The guidance encourages community involvement and allows for flexibility so that districts and schools in every corner of the state can assess their unique situation and develop a plan that best meets the needs of their students,” Interim Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said.
Key categories addressed include health and safety, facilities, nutrition, transportation, social and emotional well-being, scheduling, budgeting, absenteeism, technology, teaching, special education, bilingual education, and staffing.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said at a Monday news briefing that New York schools should be able to reopen this fall, WBFO reported.
“Everyone wants to reopen the schools,” Cuomo said, “I want to reopen the schools, everybody wants to reopen the schools.”
Meanwhile, a recent Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) poll found nearly half of New Yorkers believed it somewhat likely, and just under 20 percent felt confident that schools would reopen in September.
The SCRI poll, which surveyed about 800 people, was conducted June 28–July 2 and July 6-8.
Another question concerned the likelihood that New York will have another large outbreak of COVID-19, to which 39 percent replied very likely, and 43 percent said it was somewhat likely.
State officials said districts and schools are required to submit reopening plans to the Education Department by July 31, and they must address the mandatory elements contained in the School Reopening Guidance Document.