• Introduction

    On Monday, July 13, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region.

    Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close.

    While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the district is also planning for remote/distance learning as well as a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Parents will always have the choice to remain in the remote learning model. Parents will be given the option to opt in to remote learning and out of in-person learning via a registration form that is mailed home and available digitally. This form must be completed by August 17th in order to provide the student with the appropriate type of instruction for the beginning of the school year. Parents will be able to adjust their selection every 5 weeks. Predetermined dates and more information will be provided to parents in the registration letter and form.

    The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Green Island Union Free School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools:

    The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

    It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our schools.

    Kimberly Ross will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. She will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. Mrs. Ross will access multi-media platforms to disseminate communication such as written and electronic letters, webinars and the district website.

    Guiding Principles

    1. Adhere to state-level guidelines and ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
    2. Provide parents the opportunity of choice.
    3. Plan with flexibility and fluidity regardless of changing conditions to create stability and structure for all our students.
    4. Maximize instructional opportunities for all students but prioritize in-person instruction to our younger learners and those who need additional assistance.