District Update - July 17, 2020

Greetings Families and all in the Holley School Community. 
On Monday, all school districts across NYS received guidelines and recommendations from the NY State Department of Health (DOH) and yesterday, we received guidance from the State Education Department (NYSED), regarding safely reopening schools.  Our administrative team is in the process of reviewing these important documents and we are planning committee meetings in order to prepare for how the Holley CSD will open in September.  The 145 page guidance document from NYSED that we have to comply with to open school is available to read at the link below.

NYSED Reopening Guidance: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/reopening-schools/nys-p12-school-reopening-guidance.pdf

Our charge from NYS is to prepare for three scenarios to reopen school in the fall: in-person, a hybrid of in-person and remote, and fully remote learning, as we were this past spring.  As has been stated, our top priority is the safety of our students and staff.  We are working on details to have the best possible plan to maximize in-person teaching and learning and to be prepared for the possibility for a hybrid system or even a fully at-home learning plan, if conditions or NYS dictate that.

We have had a great response to our family survey regarding reopening school.  If you haven’t yet had a chance to take the survey, please do so.  We will be keeping the survey open until Wed. July 22.

Holley Parent Survey: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=DYxrLlcJE0Cjpp32ShPAvUj4Ne-suBtIppr9E1L6gepUQk9XTTYyMUk1SjhCQTBNVDBMWFdTWjNERS4u

In order to return to school in person fully or in a hybrid model, we will have to comply with all NYS requirements and prepare for many changes on how we think about school.  This will include all students and staff wearing face coverings when the required social distancing (6 feet) isn’t possible.  This will also include daily health screenings, both at home by families and at school, to ensure all who are here are healthy and COVID symptom free.  It will include regular hygiene practices for all and daily sanitation of all spaces and buses.  It will include social distancing for cafeterias, which may involve students eating in classrooms or other spaces.  Our buses will require that children and drivers wear masks and be physically distant, with the exception of those who reside in the same household.  There are many other areas to consider and once the plans for our three scenarios are finalized, they will be shared with families and posted to our website and social media.  This will occur prior to the July 31 deadline, when all schools have to submit their plans to NYSED and the Department of Health.

Along with receiving the guidance from NYSED about reopening schools yesterday, we were given the news that all fall sports in NYS now have a delayed starting date and all regional and NYS Championships have been cancelled for the fall season.  The NYS Public HS Athletic Association has made the decision that fall sports now cannot start until September 21.  There is also a possibility that if fall sports are cancelled, that they could be moved to the spring semester.  More details regarding athletics will be given to coaches and student athletes, as information becomes available from the state.

As has been the case throughout the COVID period, the Holley CSD will continue to work hard and prepare to provide the best education for our students, given the circumstances we’re presented.  However, it’s also important to note that the ultimate decision about schools reopening and what they may look like will be determined by the NYS Governor, NYS Education Department, and the NYS Department of Health. 

Our administrative team has already begun work, using the guidance documents, to prepare possible reopening scenarios.  We are planning a larger reopening advisory committee with staff, students, and parents on Monday, July 27 to review the guidelines, best-case scenarios for in-person, hybrid and fully remote learning plans, and to collect information that will best inform the planning documents that we will submit to NYS for approval. 

Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work through all the requirements and guidelines to educate the children of the Holley CSD.  Our partnership has been essential during these challenging times and we need that to continue, in order to do our best for our students.

Stay healthy and stay strong Holley.

Brian Bartalo
Superintendent of Schools

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