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Bethlehem Central School District 2020-21 Reopening Plan

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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 enroll their child in the remote learning model.

For the start of the 2020-21 school year, parents and guardians will be asked to indicate, by August 15, 2020, if they would like their child to be enrolled in remote learning. The district requires this advance notice to help with critical program and staffing decisions and planning. Families who choose remote learning for the start of the school year will be enrolled for a minimum of one quarter, through November 13, 2020. A student would not be able to return to in-person instruction until that date.

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Bethlehem Central 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.

Superintendent Jody Monroe will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. JoAnn Menrath, School Nurse Coordinator will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines, working closely with the Albany County Department of Health. The School Nurse Coordinator oversees the health offices in each of the district’s seven schools. The contact information for Ms. Menrath and for all building nurses can be found here.

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