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Reopening Committee strategizes for September return to school

With the first day of the 2020-21 school year less than three months away, Cohoes district stakeholders are working collaboratively on a plan to reopen safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district’s Reopening Committee, a 40-person panel made up of administrators, teachers, parents, students, board members, support staff and healthcare professionals, met Thursday to begin shaping a comprehensive and flexible plan for the upcoming school year.

“The health and safety of our students, staff and families is our top priority as we establish protocols for reopening our buildings and returning to in-person instruction,” Superintendent Jennifer Spring said.

According to Spring, decisions about reopening will be guided by the latest recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), orders from state and local governments, as well as consultation with healthcare professionals.

The district’s plan will be created on the assumption that the region will have reached Phase 4 by September and that schools will be allowed to reopen with social distancing protocols in place. The plan will be submitted for approval in August to the New York State Education Department.

Among the topics discussed Thursday, committee members contemplated the implications of COVID-19 on health and safety, facilities, instruction, social emotional health, special education, technology, athletics and food services. Subcommittees have been formed to develop comprehensive assessments and recommendations for each of those areas.

The Reopening Committee is scheduled to meet bi-monthly, with updates sent to the Cohoes school community following each meeting.

Upcoming meetings

  • July 8
  • July 22
  • August 5
  • August 19
  • September 2
  • September 16
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