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school reopening

This fall, Greece Central School District will operate under a hybrid model. Under the plan, most students will be in schools two days a week and then do remote learning for three days, but students also have the option to learn at home 100 percent of the time.

Superintendent Kathleen Graupman says the model was selected after the district heard from thousands of parents and students. She joins us this hour to discuss Greece's plan. Our guest:

  • Kathleen Graupman, superintendent of Greece Central School District, and head of the Monroe County Association of Superintendents

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday formally gave schools the green light to reopen, saying the coronavirus infection rate was low enough in New York for students to return to class in the coming weeks.

But students and staff will have a very different experience at schools this year, with new precautions in place to prevent the disease from spreading.

"By our infection rates, all school districts can open everywhere in the state,” Cuomo said. “Every region is below the threshold we established."

There's a lot of debate about whether it's safe for teachers to be back in classrooms this fall. But they aren't the only ones who could potentially be at risk in this pandemic.

We talk to local cleaning staff members, food service workers, security officers, and bus drivers about their concerns. Our guests:

  • Dan DiClemente, president of BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419
  • Wilbert Navedo, bus driver for the RCSD
  • Joe Jackson, lead school safety officer at Edison Career ad Technology High School
  • Victor Wilson, custodian at Franklin
  • Bonnie Ferrari, cook manager for food services at the RCSD
  • Jessica Rinebold, lead secretary for the RCSD

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  This story was updated at 5:33 p.m. with statements from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's comments in recent days about coronavirus testing at schools are causing confusion and concern in local districts.

The governor mentioned testing in his coronavirus briefings on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

He said he has been "deluged" by calls from concerned parents, and it's one of the most commonly asked questions.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he will announce later this week on what terms schools can reopen during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But he put the responsibility for the details back on schools, saying they need to better respond to the concerns of parents. 

Dan Clark New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll decide next week on whether schools can partially or fully reopen in September.

Meanwhile, many school districts have been busy figuring out safe ways to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some have already made some preliminary decisions.

Cuomo said he’s waited until early August to make a final decision because he wants the latest data available on the rate of transmission of the virus. Cuomo, speaking in mid-July, said the reopening will be guided by science.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that next week, he’ll respond to each district’s plan on how to return to school buildings, but a growing number of Rochester City School District stakeholders are expressing concerns about the prospect of reopening.

Hundreds of teachers, staff and parents have signed a petition asking district leadership and union leaders to keep school buildings closed. Instruction moved online in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

James Brown / WXXI News

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that there’s bipartisan support for a new federal stimulus plan that includes relief for schools and colleges. 

On the campus of the Victor Central School District, Schumer announced some details of the proposal. 

If passed, Schumer said $175 billion would be given to all public and private kindergarten through 12th grade schools. He said a similar formula would be used for colleges and universities across the country, which would receive more than $130 billion.

Governor Cuomo's office

The New York State Board of Regents on Monday issued preliminary guidelines for schools to reopen as Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the final decision on reopening will be data-driven and based on the rate of infection in September and at any time during the upcoming school year.