With the release of state guidance on the horizon, Cohoes City School District leaders continue to establish adaptable plans to reopen schools in the fall.
At its virtual meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the district’s reopening committee discussed solutions to a number of logistical challenges that need to be addressed in order to safely return to in-person teaching and learning.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out a school reopening timeline. The state will provide guidance to school districts by Monday, July 13, which districts will then use to craft individual reopening plans that they will submit to the state by July 31. Gov. Cuomo announced that he will make a decision on reopening schools during the first week of August.
“I know parents want a decision now, they talk to me too,” Cuomo said. “But we want to make that decision with the best available data. The facts change here day-to-day, week-to-week.”
The district’s reopening committee is creating a learning model based on current federal guidelines that recommend six feet of distance between students.
“While we are excited to have all of our students back in our buildings, our plan will, first and foremost, focus on the health and safety of the students and adults in our school community,” Superintendent Jennifer Spring said.
Some of the key points of discussion from the reopening subcommittees included:
- COVID safety training for both staff and students
- Masks/face coverings during the school day
- Wellness screenings for both staff and students
- How to maintain social distancing throughout the school day
- Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols of classrooms and commonly touched areas
- Assessing building ventilation and filtration systems
- The structure of the school day for elementary and secondary schools
- How best to assess and address student learning gaps
- How best to promote social-emotional wellness for our students and staff
- The professional development needs of staff
- The need for more district Chromebooks
- The need to train both students and parents on using the district’s online and virtual learning and messaging platforms
The committee is scheduled to meet again July 22.