• What We Know as of JULY 7, 2020

    Due to the changing nature of the COVID 19 virus and solidification of our ReOpening plans, the information will be updated frequently.  

    * Who Will Make the Decision to Return to School and When? 
    As with all areas of work, public services and recreation in New York State, the decision to reopen school will be made by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor will determine the timing of the announcement. 

    The primary consideration for students and staff to return to our school buildings, is the protection of their health.  The District will work in close partnership with the Rockland County Department of Health throughout the ReOpening Process. 

    * What Will Schools Look Like if They Reopen? 
    On July 13, the New York State Education Department is expected to issue guidelines that all school districts in New York State are required to follow regarding Reopening of school buildings.  The New York State Department of Health will also be issuing health related guidance for district’s to further assist in planning a safe and healthy school environment upon return. 

    * What Guidance Documents Are Currently Available? 

    Key Guidance Resources

    * Can Any Assumptions Be Made Regarding What School Might Look Like Based on Present Available Guidance? 
    Assumptions can be made based on the CDC Interim Guidance K-12,  NYS and Rockland County Health Department information, and the New York State Board of Regents. The guidance indicates three framework models for school ReOpening.  That stated, the guidance issued by the NYSED, and Governor Cuomo’s directive will determine which model will be put in effect.  We will also need to have plans in place should the COVID-19 situation in our schools or community require schools to close.  

    School Reopening Models created by CDC based on their interim guidance for K-12 schools:  

    • School Reopen in the Traditional Model - Given the current state of the COVID-19 crisis, the District does not anticipate a full return to school.  

    • School ReOpen in a Blended Hybrid Format - Alternates Student Physical Return to School Buildings With Distance Learning. For example, students physically attend schools on Mon and Weds, and Distance Learn Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  
    • Schools ReOpen in Full Distance Learning Mode - The goal is to have students attend class at their school building at least part-time, but this model may be required if the spread of the virus dictates.  

    * What is the District Doing NOW to Prepare? 
    Since March, the district administrators have been preparing for multiple school opening scenarios.   

    Action Steps: 

    1. Review of Guidance Documents and Collaboration with Colleagues in Other Districts. Administrators have been creating various scenarios and working out details in areas in which they can “plan now.”
    2. Rockland County Reopening Task Force. The Superintendent and other district leaders and staff have been participating on the Rockland Reopening Task Force to plan for school reopening with all Rockland County School Districts. 
    3. District Reopening Task Force and Subcommittees - This is to further the planning for Reopening, to have open dialogue with all stakeholders and subject matter experts. 
    4. Create Timeline for Decisions and Deliverables 
    5. Begin Operational Basics such as determining available building space per classroom and shared spaces for social distant capacity determinations, inventory and ordering of instructional technology, ordering PPE and other supplies, professional development plans for distance learning, etc. 

    * What is the goal of the Reopening Subcommittees? 
    The subcommittees bring together a group of stakeholders including administrators, outside experts, parents and staff to collaborate and further the planning. The Subcommittee will review feedback from parent surveys. The Task Force and Subcommittees have had initial meetings and their work is continuing.  The Subcommittees will share information and recommendations with the District Task Force to create the final Reopening Plan.  

    • Health and Safety
    • Instruction (3 subcommittees) 
    • Elementary 
    • Secondary 
    • Special Education and Pupil Services 
    • Technology
    • Human Relations
    • Communications
    • Facilities
    • Transportation
    • Food Services
    • Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health
    • Athletics

    * What Assumptions are Being Considered in the Planning Process for Reopening? 
    Based on the guidance from the CDC, the Governor’s Reopening plans, and guidance issued by the State of New Jersey’s Education Department, we are planning based on the following assumptions: 

    • Protection of the health of students and staff will be the primary consideration  
    • High Risk Students and Staff will need to have reasonable accommodations
    • Social Distancing - throughout school buildings and on buses. Given this as a requirement, it is likely students would return on alternating or staggered day schedule
    • Face Coverings - for all students unless there is a medical concerns and with possible exceptions for the youngest learners 
    • Hand Hygiene practices to include frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer 
    • Revised plans for student flow throughout the building, in common areas such as library, gym, cafeteria and at entry and exits.
    • Screening process to ensure sick students/staff do not enter buildings, and if sick during the day, have an isolation area and emergency contacts in place. 
    • Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols that comply with all CDC and Department of Health Recommendations 

    * Will Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)  and Hand Sanitizer be Available if Students and Staff Return to School? 
    In March, the District purchased a large supply of masks and gloves.  Our Business Official is working with Business Officials throughout Rockland to coordinate purchase of masks, gloves, face shields, polycarbonate dividers, etc. to leverage bulk pricing and ensure availability. The District’s Purchasing Agent is also developing local supply sources and reviewing state bid and municipal contracts.  

    We are also sourcing hand sanitizer stations and products as well as disinfecting cleaning supplies. 

    * When will the District Issue its Plan to Parents and the Community? 
    The current timeline is here 

    * Is there Anything that Parents Can Do Now? 
    Yes, there are very important actions parents can take. Parents are essential partners in our Return to School efforts. 

    • Emergency Contacts - Identify emergency contacts who can pick up your child(ren) immediately if they are sick. This is extremely important in protecting your child(ren) and the health of the school community.  Update your emergency contacts in your child(ren)’s e-School records.  Emergency contact should be an individual or individuals who are not the parents or primary guardians, and are in the local area.  You can contact the district registrar at (845) 639-6410 to update your information. 
    • Scheduling - It is important to know that given the information we know now, it is unlikely that students will return to their buildings on a full-time weekly schedule.  Schedules will be created based on the July 13 NYS Education Department Guidance, recommendations from the CDC and local and state Department of Healths, our building and staffing capacity, and the instructional needs of our students.    

    * I Have Several Questions.  Where Can I Get Answers? 
    This version of the FAQ document is meant to provide a general overview. 

    On July 3, 2020, the District issued a survey, "Input For Reopening Schools in 2020-2021."  We encourage you to share your comments there.  

    You can also send comments or suggestions to  Your comments will be shared with the appropriate subcommittee chairperson. 

    The Board of Education Workshop (July 23rd) will be live streamed for public viewing. 

    The District will be providing updates on a weekly basis and will soon have a dedicated website with detailed information and guidance documents.;

Last Modified on July 22, 2020