Utica Considering Delayed Opening, Virtual Start for Schools
The Utica City School District is taking another look at its reopening plan, after receiving feedback from recent teacher forums.
Utica's Board of Education will vote next week on scrapping its current reopening plan, which divides students into cohorts for hybrid instruction, and instead delaying the start of the school year and opting for a virtual reopening.
The Rome City School District has already decided to open schools with all-virtual instruction until at least mid-October, and then will re-evaluate.
According the Utica OD, the new plan proposed by Utica's teachers would delay the start of the school year to September 10, and would allow students to meet their teachers and gather materials in-person before beginning all-virtual instruction until at least November 9.
The teachers laid out numerous concerns, including teacher and student safety, staffing concerns, and a need for consistency for students when describing the need for an alternative reopening plan.
School districts across Central New York have been preparing re-opening plans under guidance provided by the NYS Department and Health and the Education Department.
Just this week, Governor Cuomo announced the state would step in to close any school that experienced an "outbreak" in coronavirus cases, without offering specific parameters on what would define such a scenario. The Governor is also expected to make a decision about whether New York high schools will play fall sports. The NYPSAA has already delayed the start of the fall sports season to September 21.