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School Reopening

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LAST UPDATED: August 6,2020 at 10:00PM


On Monday, July 13, 2020, 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 regions 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 schools have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the school is also planning for remote/distance learning, as well as for a blended model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Parents will always have the choice to remain in the remote learning model.  Parents wishing to choose a remote learning model must make that decision quarterly.  Parents wishing to choose a blended learning model must create their student’s schedule, in conjunction with the school, on a monthly basis.

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of St. Mary’s School (Waterford) for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 the school campus. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Reopening Guidance for Religious and Independent Schools, the Religious Services Guidelines on the New York Forward website 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 school. 

Matthew Rucinski will serve as the school’s COVID-19 Coordinator. He will serve as a central contact for stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the school is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines.  His contact information is on our school’s website and he is also accessible through his constant communication with families.