Superintendent Dailey to share back-to-school plans in live event Aug. 18 at 4:30 p.m.
August 17, 2021
Dear Gates Chili Families,
We are just about three weeks away from kicking off another great school year. I am hopeful that as we continue to prep for the return of students and staff, we will see local COVID-19 infection rates continue to drop.
A reminder that tomorrow during a live virtual event on YouTube, I will outline some of the district’s plans for the start of the school year, including:
- Instruction: Schools will be open five days a week for in-person instruction at both the elementary and secondary levels. I am also pleased to announce the much-anticipated return of many co-curricular activities, athletics and the arts. Our goal is to provide students with similar opportunities and experiences as they had during pre-COVID times.
- Masking: Due to our county being in a higher infection risk zone, we will begin the school year with mandatory masking indoors and on school buses for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. We will continue to review local data and seek guidance from local and state health officials to determine when it is appropriate for masks to be considered optional again. Students and staff will have mask breaks throughout the day. Masking will continue to be optional for all outdoor activities.
- Distancing: Students will be seated three feet apart in classroom spaces, to the greatest extent possible. Lunches will be held primarily in the cafeterias and students will be assigned seats in the event that contact tracing is needed.
- Cleaning: Thorough disinfecting protocols, ventilation, and reinforcement of good hygiene practices will continue.
Ultimately, our goal is to bring students and staff back safely. Our plan for the fall takes into consideration the CDC guidelines, New York State Education Department guidelines and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. While it’s unclear if/when the New York State Department of Health may also provide guidance or mandates, we are prepared to remain flexible and adapt as required.
I will continue to provide regular updates as the start of the year gets closer. I am excited to welcome everyone back and look forward to a successful school year. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Christopher J. Dailey
Superintendent of Schools