July 31, 2020
From Canisteo-Greenwood School Superintendent Tom Crook:
Canisteo-Greenwood School District Reopening Plans
Dear CG Family,
As we approach the potential start to a new school year, the administrative team along with the Reopening Committee has worked feverishly to put the district’s reopening plan together in the short 2-week time frame we were given. Based on the guidance from the New York Department of Health and the New York State Education Department, our plan addresses all the components that are needed to bring our students and staff back to school this fall.
We know that there are a lot of questions about returning to school, but rest assured, the Governor and the state health department would not allow us to return if they thought that it could not be done. The Governor will be assessing the infection rate for our region (Southern Tier Region) and decide the week of August 1st – August 7th. Once we receive his decision, we will be implementing our reopening plan for a potential opening on September 8th. The district’s comprehensive Reopening Plan can be found on the school’s website. Please refer to it often as it may change throughout August based on any new or clarifying guidance from the state. The district will be hosting a webinar for the community highlighting the key components of the reopening plan sometime soon. In that webinar, we will be reviewing transportation, daily screenings, social distancing, mask wearing, students who do not feel well, symptoms of COVID-19, cleaning and disinfecting, and visitor protocols. This webinar will be recorded and placed on the district’s website and on our social media platform. If after the webinar you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Superintendent Crook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main question in everyone’s mind is, what will school look like in the fall? Based on our facilities and following the current guidance of the State Department of Health and Education Department, we feel we will be able to bring back our students almost full-time. The reason I say “full-time” is that we must address the remote learning component that this pandemic has placed upon us. In March, we were thrown into the world of remote learning very abruptly. Our teachers and students did a phenomenal job adjusting and made the best of a terrible situation.
Therefore, our TENTATIVE schedule for the fall is as follows:
Students will be in school Monday – Thursday and virtual on Fridays. For daily attendance purposes, all students are expected to do some remote work on Fridays. This may be logging into their electronic platform or doing assigned work. The in-person schedule will be similar to our normal schedule but we will allow students to enter the building at 7:30 and report to their classroom for breakfast. Arrival times and dismissal times will be staggered and more details will be communicated as we get closer to September 8th.
Teachers will report Monday – Friday, with Fridays giving teachers crucial time to work on remote platforms (SeeSaw for Elementary and Microsoft Teams for the High School) and to reach out to our remote learners.
We cannot stress enough that this is our TENTATIVE schedule. As we have seen since March 13th, this could change on a dime depending on what the Governor decides. Your patience and flexibility will be key this fall (and beyond). This schedule is subject to change before September 8th.
We will be sending a survey out to our families to ask a few key questions so we can begin to prepare. It is important that all families take part in the survey. The survey will be sent out through our mass notification system and NOT social media. We only need the parents/guardians of our students filling out the survey.
The questions will be:
1. If your child is normally bused, would you be willing to self-transport? The reason we are asking this question is that we would like to decrease the occupancy of our buses if possible. Students will always be required to wear masks on a bus, but we would also like to try as much social distancing as possible. The regulations are that if 6 ft. social distancing cannot be supported, a mask must be worn. Any space we can get on our buses will help.
**If you choose to self-transport, we will be asking for a semester commitment to avoid unseen changes in bus occupancy daily.
2. Knowing that we are going back to in-person instruction, will you be sending your child to school? We understand as a district that some families will be hesitant to send their child back to school. With this expectation, we will be offering the following options:
a. Homeschooling – parents will handle their child’s education.
b. Remote Instruction – the school would be responsible for the child’s education through on-line instruction and electronic platform participation. The student will be expected to attend all scheduled sessions with the teachers (attendance will be taken) and new content will be taught and graded. The remote learner will be required to keep up with their work as if he/she were attending in person.
**A semester commitment will be needed for either of these options. If at the end of the semester you would like your child to return to in-person instruction, he/she may return at that time, but not in the middle of a semester.
3. If the district coordinates childcare for any “off” day, would you need it? We have been in conversation with local agencies to be able to offer childcare on the Friday the students will not be in session. There will be a cost incurred payable to the participating agency. It will be hosted here in district in the elementary school.
We cannot thank you enough for your continued support during these unique times.
Thomas J. Crook