State Education Department Release School Reopening Guidance

(WBEN) - The New York State Education Department has issued guidance to the Board of Regents on school reopening in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The final decision on whether or not to open schools for in-class learning will be made by the Governor in early August. The State Education Department's guidelines provide a loose framework for districts to begin preparing for multiple scenarios. 

The full guidelines will be available to school districts on Wednesday, and they will be able to submit their plans to the state this Friday. Re-opening plans must be submitted to the state by the end of July. Plans must be at the school-level.

The guidelines state that schools must create a comprehensive plan for a schedule that includes In-person Instruction, Remote Instruction, and Hybrid instruction on a school-by-school basis.

On distance learning, the guidelines look to address the concerns of parents and teachers if that method continues to have to be used. School policies and procedures must focus on the academic consequences of lost instructional time and address absences before students fall behind in school, and that it is critical for schools to use a variety of creative methods to reach out to students and their families who have not engaged in distance learning.

Many of the guidelines focus on flexibility inside of schools, which must develop plans to maximize social distancing whenever possible. That may include the use of outdoor spaces when available.

Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings.

See the guidelines released on Monday by following the link below: