Reopening Plan 2020

On Monday, July 13, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York could follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stayed at 5% or lower in a given region. 

Determinations were made by the region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region was in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region are able to hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceeded 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 districts were instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the East Rochester Union Free School District also planned for remote/distance learning as well as for a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Parents have the choice to remain in the remote learning model, if they are uncomfortable sending their student for in-person learning. Teachers provide instruction for students who opt-in for remote learning. It should be noted that remote learning, in its nature, can never be to the same quality of in-person instruction. Students who begin the school year by learning remotely have an option to later opt-in to the in-person instruction hybrid model. 

A letter was sent to families, asking what their plans for instruction were for the fall. Families needed to make the district aware if students would be opting for the remote learning model by completing the online survey posted on the East Rochester Union Free School District website and sent to a family’s primary email contact. If families were unable to access online, they were directed to contact Elementary School Principal Marisa Philp at marisa.philp@erschools.org or by calling (585)248-6311 or the Jr./Sr. High School Principal Casey van Harssel at casey.vanharssel@erschools.org or by calling (585) 248-6350. 

If a family chose to homeschool students, the district did not provide a curriculum. Additionally, the student is not able to opt into the remote or in-person hybrid models now that the academic year has begun. If families chose to homeschool a student, they were asked to reach out to sarah.callahan@erschools.org

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the East Rochester Union Free School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


This plan includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools: 

● East Rochester Elementary School
http://elementary.erschools.org/
400 Woodbine Avenue,
East Rochester, NY 14445
Phone (585) 248-6302 

● East Rochester Junior/Senior High School http://juniorseniorhs.erschools.org/
200 Woodbine Avenue,
East Rochester, NY 14445
Phone (585) 248-6302 

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 our 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) 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 navigate the school year. 

Mr. Jeffrey Onze is the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Mr. Onze works closely with our local health department. He serves as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and ensures the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. To contact Mr. Onze, please email ercovid19director@erschools.org or call (585) 248-6370. 

Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented us from realizing all of our expectations for a typical school opening. The safety of our students, staff, families and community is our top priority. Collectively, we have done (and will continue to do) our best to create plans that are as close to a typical school year, with safety as the top priority. Teams within the district worked throughout the summer to develop this plan, taking into consideration the feedback received from parents and community members.