S-G establishing teams to study reopening plans; Town Hall planned for July 29

Links to join advisory teams

Community Members: https://forms.gle/r89PftDaNTnBPHJX6

Staff Membershttps://forms.gle/fBbdPCufPREk4o5z6

Dear Scotia-Glenville Community Members:

I am writing today to share information about an opportunity to join one of several advisory teams being formed in the district to assist in our planning for the reopening of school.

Though Scotia-Glenville will submit its overarching plan to several sources (to name a few, the Department of Health, State Education Department, our school physicians) on July 31, the planning for implementation will continue through the opening of school. The development of protocols and procedures in several areas will require multiple perspectives and thought.

As part of a planning group consisting of school districts throughout the region, schools and Capital Region BOCES have worked to develop initial plans that enable us to function in a similar (overall) manner  and leverage our ability to assist each other.  At the same time, we recognize things will continue to shift over the weeks remaining between now and the start of school.  The overarching plan we submit on July 31st will no doubt change as the situation in our region, and across the state, changes over the next several weeks.  At this point, we know that Governor Cuomo intends to make a decision about reopening schools sometime between August 3 and August 7….but I suspect even that might change.

As you consider joining one of our advisory committees, I wish to make you aware of our thinking at this point…the backbone (briefly) of our overarching plan.  That thinking includes the following:

  1. We are committed to the priority of bringing our youngest learners back in-person first.  This means students in grades kindergarten through sixth,.
  2. We are also committed to prioritizing in-person learning for children with special needs, and learners of English as a new language learners.
  3. We anticipate offering a hybrid-program in grades seven through twelve. The hybrid program will offer a combination of in-person and on-line instruction.
  4. Student class size for in-person instruction will be reduced to provide for social distancing and students and staff will be required to wear masks as per NYS Department of Health and State Education Department.  Mask breaks will be safely built into the day.
  5. Capacity on school buses will be reduced and social distancing will be practiced. Drivers, bus aides, and students will be expected to wear masks.
  6. All employees and students will be asked to complete a health check prior to the start of each school day.  A staff member or student who cannot pass the morning health check will be required to stay home.
  7. Enhanced protocols for cleaning, including school buses, have, or will be, implemented.
  8. Visitors to the schools and use of facilities will both be restricted.

Within each of these targets and several other broad topics, our advisory -teams committees will develop procedures/protocols to be used to implement the overarching plan.  For example, a protocol for visitors will be developed….and then may need to be revised based upon changing circumstances.

If there is one thing I am certain of, it is that the situation caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic will continue to evolve.

I encourage you to review the teams’ materials and sign up to assist with an area of interest.  Sign-ups for advisory teams need to be completed by close of business on Wednesday, July 29.  The district will take that information, connect groups and facilitators, and those groups will begin meeting in early August.  If you wish to contribute but don’t feel you can commit to multiple meetings, an area will be set up on the district’s website where you can contribute ideas or ask questions.  Please consider joining us!.  Advisory teams will consist of administrators, teachers, other school personnel, parents, community members and hopefully, some students.

My goal is to ensure a safe return for students and staff, as well as options for those who may participate in a hybrid situation, or choose not to return.  While we must remain nimble and able to “switch gears” quickly, we will be ready to welcome our students and staff back or offer alternative instruction as the school year begins.

I would ask you to join me for a virtual Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, July 29 at 6:30, to learn about the overarching plan. The link for the meeting will be posted on the district’s website.

Thank you,

Susan M. Swartz, Superintendent