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A Statement on Reopening Plans

As part of the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) school reopening guidance from July 17, 2020, all local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to submit a comprehensive reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year to NYSED by July 31, 2020.

School district superintendents, administrators, reopening committees and medical experts have spent countless hours reviewing the guidance provided by NYSED, the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that all of our students are able to receive instruction in the safest way possible this fall, while still maintaining an emphasis on academic success. Parents, guardians, staff and community members provided their own valuable ideas and insights, which have been included in the reopening plans wherever possible and practicable. Every district has done intensive research, planning and development to create a reopening plan that is tailored to best serve their own students, staff members and families.

While all of the reopening plans contain similar guidance on topics such as appropriate social distancing, face coverings, food service, and plans for in-person, hybrid and remote instruction, the plans also vary greatly depending on the needs and resources of each district.

Each school district in our region is unique, leading to a range of different reopening plans based on availability of space in physical facilitates and the capacity to socially distance students within them, staff sizes, enrollment and class sizes, as well as the number and availability of busses for student transportation.

With the creation of these plans, the health, safety and social-emotional needs of our students, families and staff continue to be our top priority. It is also important to emphasize that instructional plans will continue to evolve throughout the school year depending on virus spread and other changing conditions. We remain very grateful to our community for their ongoing patience and understanding as we work through this dynamic reopening process.

The statement is made on behalf of the OHM BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patricia Kilburn and the superintendents of OHM BOCES' component school districts.

The Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES serves the following school districts: Brookfield, Clinton, Holland Patent, New Hartford, New York Mills, Oriskany, Remsen, Sauquoit Valley, Utica, Waterville, Westmoreland and Whitesboro.