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Scarsdale School District Examines Options for Reopening in September

brewgirlsHere's an update from Scarsdale School Superintendent Thomas Hagerman on planning for the reopening of schools in September. See below:

Dear Scarsdale Families,

During the past few weeks, the District has been actively planning for the opening of school in September. This early work has involved looking at three possible restart structures, including a return to school with all students returning in-person, a hybrid learning model (with partial eLearning and partial in-person learning), and a fully-virtual eLearning format. All of these structures will require significant changes from our usual operations, and all keep the health and safety of students, families, and staff at the forefront of our decision-making. The Restart Steering Committee, along with its ten task-specific groups, is composed of almost 100 key stakeholders, including teachers, parents, administrators, and Board members. The work-to-date is outlined in Eric Rauschenbach's presentation to the Board of Education on June 22 and on our Restart web page. Additionally, our web page has a specific FAQ section which we encourage you to visit to learn more about community concerns.

Direction on the opening of schools is subject to decisions by the Governor, along with the NYS Departments of Health (DOH) and Education (SED). To that end, yesterday the Governor directed the DOH to release initial guidance on the reopening of schools. Additionally, the SED will be releasing its own guidance for schools tomorrow (Wednesday). Together, these documents will provide much-needed information on the areas of restart that will be mandated by the State and where we have some flexibility and choice locally.As things stand now, specific district reopening plans are expected to be submitted to both the State departments of Health and Education by July 31st. The Governor also indicated he will make a decision the first week of August on whether schools will open.

Between now and July 31st, the restart planning groups will focus on finalizing details related to the Restart Plan. We will be using all of the information that is currently available to us including State guidance documents, CDC recommendations, community input (including the survey mentioned below), and plans being developed around the county to identify the most effective way forward. As we have outlined in our previous communications, the Restart Vision Statement will guide our decision-making.

Parent Survey Coming Soon!
By tomorrow, District parents will be receiving a survey that was developed by our Restart Steering Committee. This survey will ask parents to share their thoughts regarding possible scenarios for the opening of school. We know that our restart efforts need to consider the developmental level of our students, so the survey has sub-sections for parents who have children in Kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3-5, Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12). This will allow us to more easily analyze the responses of parents at each level. Combined with a detailed survey of District faculty and staff, this parent feedback will provide a full picture of the attitudes, interests, and needs of our community. We want to thank you, in advance, for completing the survey and providing important data that will help to inform our Restart Committee's efforts.

Best Wishes,
Dr. Thomas Hagerman

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