Gov says 'school must reopen' but 6' social distance rule remains

Berkeley Brean
Updated: February 19, 2021 06:24 PM
Created: February 19, 2021 05:13 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says schools should get back in class. Starting Monday, every school district in our area is back in class on a hybrid basis. Some elementary schools, like in East Irondequoit, have been in-person, five days a week since September. 

If the governor is talking about five days a week, which he did not say, every school superintendent News10NBC has talked to says they would transition to in-person, full time but logistically can't until the state says students don't have to stay fix feet apart. 

"School must reopen," the governor said Friday. "This remote learning is a poor substitute for in-class teaching."

The governor called on every school to vaccinate teachers. 

Dr. Christopher Brown, Supt. Marcus Whitman CSD: "All of our employees who have wanted to be vaccinated are vaccinated."

Chris Brown is the superintendent of Marcus Whitman school district, a district with a thousand students in the Finger Lakes. 

Dr. Christopher Brown: "In my own district we haven't had a single COVID spread in the school."

Dr. Brown says if the social distance rule reduced from six feet to three feet, he could re-open five days a week. 

Dr. Christopher Brown: "You also look at students who are in school right now versus those who are remote, and you look at results in how they differ, relationships do matter and those in-person relationships and kids being in school we can see is an important piece of what they need."

Thursday, the Onondaga County executive said he is reviewing the six-foot rule to see if it can be reduced to three. 

The Monroe County Executive's Office says it's a state rule. 

Tuesday, the head of the superintendents council in Monroe County said unless the rule goes from six to three or lower, Monroe County schools can't physically have in-person school five days a week for every class. 

Kathy Graupman, Greece School Superintendent: "Unless that changes, I can say I don't think I can bring all of our kids back five days a week."

Le Roy schools plan to go five days a week in April. Le Roy has about 1,100 students and space. Just the senior class in Greece CSD is almost a thousand.

News10NBC is working on getting clarification on who controls the six-foot rule. Monroe County and the schools we've talked to say they follow the state guidelines.


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