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RCSD School Reopening Update

Dear RCSD Community, 

Earlier today, Governor Cuomo held a press conference and announced that schools in New York State are cleared to open. He also announced several new requirements for school districts without any clear detail. School districts must:

  1. Develop, submit, and post a COVID-19 testing plan by August 14
  2. Develop, submit, and post a contact tracing plan, also by August 14
  3. Post an abbreviated remote learning plan
  4. Hold three parent and one staff question and answer session prior to August 21 

Items number one and two are new requirements and the District will work to develop those plans.

The Governor did not address several important points of inquiry:

1. Are school districts still required to follow the NYS DOH requirements?

The Governor made no mention of any updates to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines that the District used as a basis for creating its reopening plan, so the District is operating on the assumption that it must still follow those guidelines as originally directed on July 13. The guidelines specifically require social distancing. 

2. What is meant by testing for COVID-19? Is the District expected to administer the tests?

3. Do parents or staff have the option of being fully remote?

4. How should school districts fund these initiatives?

We have reached out to the Governor, the Department of Health, and the State Education Department to ask for clarification on these points. At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, I will provide an update to the community on our reopening plan. I hope the District will receive answers to our questions prior to the meeting. I will also provide dates for the public information sessions on Tuesday.

Have a nice weekend.

Sincerely,

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.