Dear North Colonie Community,
As you may know, we are expecting the state to release finalized reopening guidance for school districts at some point this week. Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave an official timeline for school districts to submit school reopening plans. He said districts will have to submit their safety plans for reopening by Friday, July 31 and they’ll be reviewed between August 1-7. The state then will approve, deny, or suggest changes to those plans. The Governor said he will make a decision on whether or not to reopen schools statewide in the fall by early August.
In the meantime, the North Colonie Central School District is putting together reopening options based on what we have heard from our representatives on the Governor’s reopening team, the CDC, and other states’ reopening plans. The district’s Parents Advisory Council (PAC) met to discuss possible reopening options at its meeting on Thursday, July 9.
The group will be meeting again this Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. and we want to invite you to be a part of it. From 7-7:30 p.m., Deputy Superintendent Skeals will review the presentation from the July 9 meeting. At 7:30 p.m. the PAC will continue it’s discussion on plans for reopening and other models that are being discussed in our region. An email with a link to the livestream will be sent out Thursday morning. If you have any questions you would like addressed, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org either before the meeting or during the meeting.
Every option that is discussed will require significant compromise and creative thinking and problem solving. Our goal in presenting options is to have others review the plans from their frame of expertise, provide input, and compile pros and cons. Our hope is that we have a range of options to review, analyze, and discuss in order to come up with the safest and most educationally sound solution possible for reopening.
Right now, our summer school program is taking place in person. We have 140 students attending daily. They are practicing social distancing and wearing masks where appropriate. All staff members are having their temperatures checked every morning. They are also wearing masks and/or face shields. At this point, we have successfully been able to educate our students and keep everyone safe without any issues.
There are still many things that need to be worked out before the district’s plan is submitted. We also continue to look at how we can improve in the area of remote learning, should we need to continue that in the future. Please know we are working hard to plan for the fall and our number one priority is to create a safe and secure learning environment for all. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we wait for guidance and decisions from the state. We will continue to update our community as we learn more.
I hope you are all enjoying your summer.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools