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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the New York State Education Department August 16, 2021:

The Official News release announcing the Guidelines for Reopening Schools issued last Thursday, the news release describes the contents of the report this way:

“At a time when schools are preparing to reopen and the COVID positivity rate is increasing, we must ensure our schools and districts have the most up-to-date resources and mitigation strategies available to keep our children and school staff safe,” said Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “Reopening amidst a pandemic for the second consecutive year is truly a daunting task. Our hope is that this guide, coupled with the input of local health officials will help the state’s education community as they prepare for September.”

The guide provides strategies, based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, to position schools and districts to manage the risks for students and staff from COVID-19 while supporting engaged learning for all students.

This guide is designed to be used in conjunction with the numerous other local, state, and national resources available to schools.  Administrators are strongly encouraged to partner with their local department(s) of health, director of school health services, and other health professionals when developing their policies and responding to health and safety concerns that may arise during the school year.

The Department’s health and safety guide addresses questions related to: COVID-19 vaccinations, monitoring community transmission, wearing of masks, physical distancing, sports and extracurricular activities, COVID-19 screening, health questionnaire screenings, contact tracing, COVID-19 related facilities projects, remote instruction, and funding sources available to schools and districts that may help with preparing for the upcoming school year and beyond.

The health and safety guide, as well as other back to school resources, are available on the Department’s Back to School website.

WPCNR asked the SED press office if the guide contained the definitive regulations school districts must follow, or whether the guide was a preliminary release prior to the “hard” regulations schools have to put in place by September 7, (3 weeks away). I also asked if contact sports would be suspended as they were last fall. Last fall we had no performing arts concerts, no drama productions, either. I wait those clarifications.

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