Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, in his email newsletter dated August 7, 2020 said: “Based on our infection rate of about one percent, New York State is in the best possible situation right now. If anybody can open schools safely, we can.”
And he added “The infection rate statewide—in every region—is below the established threshold and therefore all school districts are permitted to open this fall. Whether your school will be in-person, remote, or a hybrid model, will be determined locally by each individual school district under strict Department of Health guidelines.”
As of July 13, 2020 NY state issued (“Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Schools”), which was created to provide all elementary (including pre-kindergarten), middle, and high schools, as well as their employees, contractors, students, and parents/legal guardians of students with precautions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 for schools that are authorized to provide in-person instruction in the 2020-2021 school year.
The plan, at minimum, covers:
(1) Reopening of school facilities for in-person instruction,
(2) Monitoring of health conditions,
(3) Containment of potential transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and
(4) Closure of school facilities and in-person instruction, if necessitated by widespread virus transmission.
Cuomo said “Every school district was required to submit a reopening plan to the Department of Health, which will be carefully reviewed. Additionally, school districts must post their remote learning plans, as well as plans for testing and tracing students and staff, on their websites. These plans must be transparent and accessible.
Parents and teachers must feel safe and secure in each school district's plan to return to school, and to that end, school districts are required to engage all parties. Specifically, they must set dates for 3-5 discussion sessions with parents and the community, to be held by August 21, and at least one separate discussion session for teachers specifically.”