• Summary of parent survey responses

    A survey about the various reopening scenarios received 455 responses from parents across all grade levels. When asked if schools were to open with full-time, in-person instruction, 24 percent said they felt very comfortable, and about 33 percent of parents reported they felt “comfortable” with sending their children to school. However, about 21 percent said they are “not comfortable at all” sending their children to school, and about 22 percent said they are “unsure” about their children attending.

    The survey also asked parents to weigh in on a hybrid model that would use a combination of in-person learning and remote instruction to allow for smaller groups at school. About 39 percent said they felt “comfortable” and about 17 percent said they felt “extremely comfortable” sending their children to school in that scenario. About 18 percent of families responded they are “not comfortable at all” with their children attending school in that model. About 26 percent said they are “unsure”.

    If student instruction had to be done completely online, 68 percent of families said their young children would have someone at home help them with their school work, while 32 percent said that would not be possible.

    The survey also sought to gauge the level of access families have to resources for online learning. About 91 percent said they have reliable internet access, and about 82 percent reported having access to a computer or laptop at home.

    With social distancing guidelines being required on school buses, there would be limited capacity. When asked about transportation, 61 percent of families said they would be willing to transport their children to school throughout the school year, while 39 percent said they could not.

    In the survey, families were asked to reflect on several aspects of remote learning this past spring. Over 50 percent said they felt it was “very easy” to connect with their children’s teachers, and 9 percent said communication was “not easy at all.” About 23 percent said their student was “not engaged at all” in their online school work, while about 41 percent said their children were “slightly engaged.” About 25 percent reported their children were “engaged”, and about 10 percent described their students as “extremely engaged.”

    On the subject of their children’s social and emotional well-being during the past several months, about 34 percent said they are “not at all concerned,” and about 19 percent said they are “concerned”. However, about 13 percent said they are “extremely concerned”, and 34 percent said they are “slightly concerned.

    The district received many comments through the survey that are also being considered as district leaders develop the reopening plans.

    Summary of State Reopening Guidance

    The following information is from the New York State Education Department’s Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools:

    Face Coverings/PPE & Social Distancing

    • Face coverings are strongly recommended to be worn by all individuals at all times and must be worn any time appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained and in common areas (e.g. hallways, cafeterias) and on school buses.
    • Students are allowed to remove their face coverings during meals, instruction, and for short breaks so long as they maintain appropriate social distance.
    • Districts must take steps to ensure social distancing for any activities on-site. The DOH defines appropriate social distancing as six feet of space in all directions.

    Health Screening

    • Anyone who enters a building must have their temperature checked daily and the Department of Health is encouraging remote screenings at home prior to students departing for school. Anyone who has a temperature greater than 100.0 degrees will need to stay home.
    • The screening process will include additional questions to help identify individuals who may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to it.

    Instruction

    • Schedules included in plans must address in-person instruction, remote instruction, and hybrid instruction. Plans must provide for continuity of learning despite instructional method, including substantive daily interaction.
    • In planning for various approaches and models, school plans should indicate if certain students will be prioritized to return to in-person instruction first or more frequently based on educational or other needs.
    • School officials should make every effort to “cohort” students to limit potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Cohorts, particularly for younger students, should be self-contained, preassigned groups of students with reasonable group size limits.
    • The district will need to make provisions for internet access for those who need it. Note: Our Returning Student Registration process taking place later this month will ask families about internet access. It is critical that you complete this form as soon as it is available.

    Mental Health & Social and Emotional Support

    • Reopening plans will include details on how the district will support students with transitioning back to the school setting.

    Transportation

    • On the school bus, students will need to wear face coverings and social distance (unless members of the same household).
    • The Department of Health Guidance states that districts should encourage parents to drive students to and from school or have them walk in order to reduce density on buses. Note: Our Returning Student Registration process taking place later this month will ask families about transportation plans. It is critical that you complete this form as soon as it is available.

    Food & Nutrition

    • Districts must provide for on-site and remote food services for students.
    • Food and nutrition plans must also identify how students will wash hands before and after eating and how the sharing of food will be discouraged.
    • Students, faculty, and staff must observe social distancing while eating meals in school

    Hygiene, Cleaning & Disinfecting

    • Districts will follow and promote hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection guidance set forth by DOH and CDC.

    Athletics, Events, Extracurriculars

    • Reopening plans must also address policies regarding field trips, special congregate events, and visitors, as well as extracurricular and interscholastic athletic programs and which activities will be allowed. (As a note, interscholastic sports are not permitted at this time; however, additional information on athletic activities is expected. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced on July 16, 2020 that it was delaying the start of its fall season to Sept. 21, 2020.)
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