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Monroe County school officials ready to bring back students full-time this fall

Dan Clark New York Now

School officials in Monroe County are ready to have students make a full return to the classroom this fall, according to Kathleen Graupman, president of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents, and superintendent of the Greece Central School District.

Graupman made the comments Tuesday in a briefing with reporters after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that he thinks students should be able to return for full, in-person learning this fall.

Graupman agrees, but would like to see the state Health Department offer more specific guidelines on how that will be accomplished.

"We have continued to urge and plead for that guidance for reopening in September to come now," Graupman said. "We don’t want it in August, I don’t want it late in July. I want it now so that we can plan and make sure that this is a done deal, it’s clear, and that we can communicate to our families."

Graupman would like to see the state loosen some of the COVID-19 restrictions for schools, including a requirement that calls for 3-foot physical distancing. She believes that schools have already proven they can bring back student to the classroom safely.

“We proved that with mitigation strategies that we have implemented, that all of us have implemented all year long that we could do it without transmission within schools, with a positivity rate below 1%.  So I feel really secure and safe with saying that yes, we can bring our kids back,” Graupman said.

Graupman is also hoping that local families contact state health officials to advocate for updated guidance on reopening from the state.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.