Local school districts already practicing many CDC guidelines, Greece supt. says
Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance last week about in-person schooling, Greece Central School District Superintendent Kathleen Graupman says those guidelines aren’t much different from what is already being practiced locally.
Graupman, who also heads the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents, says the guidelines about things like social distancing and mask wearing, are already being followed by area districts.
“So much of what was in there is really the way that we’ve designed our opening plans in the districts around here in Monroe County, so there wasn’t a lot in there that really surprised me or that shocked me or that was really different from what I see us doing on a regular basis right now,” Graupman says.
She says some parents and students want to see in-person learning be expanded to five days a week. But she says there are logistical problems with that, including how much space is available in school buildings and how bus transportation would be handled.
Greece, like a lot of other districts, is on a hybrid model -- offering some in-person and some remote learning. Graupman says it would be difficult to go to five days a week of in-person instruction.
"We can fit, typically at most, around 14 kids in a classroom and still meet those requirements," she says. "Most of our class sizes are about 25. That right there is a struggle because just the space issues that are involved create the biggest barrier, number one, in terms of bringing everybody back every day."
Graupman says another issue would be transportation, since the social distance requirement applies in school buses also, and that would mean more buses, more bus runs and more drivers.
Graupman says she does hear from some parents who wonder why the state and local health departments can allow high-risk sports to resume, and at the same time, it's not feasible to have five days a week of in-person instruction.
"Sports are an extracurricular, sports are an extra, they happen after school and they happen by choice," Graupman says. "They happen with a much smaller number of students, or athletes, that are anticipating. Where in school -- school is mandatory, school is everybody, we have to provide for all."