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Lyndonville survey shows most want in-person school to resume in September

Posted 21 July 2020 at 11:24 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: About two thirds of respondents in a school survey said they want students back in classrooms, with precautions in place, in September. This photo shows Lyndonville’s L.A. Webber Middle-High School.

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville Central School District recently conducted a reopening of schools survey. Over 550 family members, caregivers and staff responded with the majority, 66 percent, indicated they believe in-person school should resume in September with new procedures in place.

Last week Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Education Department released detailed school building reopening guidelines. The state developed a list of mandates and best practice recommendations. In developing Lyndonville’s reopening plan, the district will incorporate the mandates and guidance provided by the state and suggestions made through advisory meetings.

“The reopening survey reflects what we have been hearing from families,” said Superintendent Jason Smith. “Many in the Lyndonville community feel confident the district will comply with the NYS guidelines and will be able to provide a safe and healthy school environment for their children in the fall.”

The top measures the community felt the district should implement for the safety of the students and staff include:

  • Hand sanitizer in classrooms/common areas (90%)
  • Wearing masks when unable to maintain social distancing (52%)
  • No sharing of resources or materials (51%)
  • Limited hallway travel (51%).

Many parents/caregivers also indicated they would be willing to help transport their children to help reduce the number of students bused to school daily.

In addition, over 60% indicated they would like student athletics, performing arts and extracurricular activities to resume in a traditional format with reasonable safety precautions in place.

Unfortunately, the NYS Public High School Athletic Association recently voted to delay the start of the Fall 2020 sports season to Sept. 21. NYSPHSAA also canceled the Fall 2020 Regional/State Championships and are preparing to implement a condensed season schedule in January 2021 if high school sports remain prohibited due to Covid-19.

While a final decision has not yet been made by NYS to reopen in-person school this fall, Lyndonville Central School remains hopeful. The governor stated schools can reopen if the region is in Phase IV and if its daily infection rate remains below 5 percent or lower using a 14-day average. Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average. NYS will make the formula determination August 1-7.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the reopening survey,” said Board of Education President Theodore Lewis. “We will do the best we can to incorporate your suggestions with the NYS mandates to create a workable plan that allows our students and staff to safely return to school in September.”

The district will continue to develop their reopening plan with a series of advisory meetings this week. Lyndonville’s full reopening plan must be submitted to the state for approval by July 31. The plan will also be posted on the district website on July 31.

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