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shsberke1We conducted a quick survey on Scarsdale10583 to get an idea on where our readers stand on the reopening of schools in September. The survey assessed whether you preferred in-school instruction, hybrid instruction or eLearning at home. We also asked whether you thought the benefits of in-school instruction outweigh the risks posed by the virus and welcomed reader comments.

We received 103 responses and it appears that more favor in-school learning than hybrid instruction, but the numbers are close. Here are the results to date and some of your comments:

In your view, how should school be conducted in September?

1 - Live instruction at school with all students in the building. 45.6%

2 - Hybrid instruction with some students in the building
and others engaged in e-Learning on an alternating schedule. 37.8%

3 - School buildings closed: e-Learning only 12.6%

In your opinion, do the benefits of in-school learning outweigh the risks posed by the virus?

Yes 60.1%

No  33.9%

Here are just a few of the many comments we received:

Elementary students grades k-5 belong in buildings. Some older teachers or those with compromising conditions might choose to work on e learning. So perhaps parents of elementary students could be given a choice. Middle and high school students could be given the hybrid approach or perhaps work in split sessions if they need to be in buildings.

High School students will have so many restrictions placed on their freedom of movement, and perhaps even choices of classes, in the name of social distancing. The kids were used to so many freedoms before the shut down that school will be unrecognizable in the fall. The district's efforts would be better spent preparing for better eLearning, with better accommodations from the outset for special education, etc. Social interaction can come in other forms. Elementary students require more supervision.

We must focus on the balance between these two competing needs. We cannot simply choose between COVID safety and our children’s learning and development.

To date in our response to the pandemic, we have fully prioritized slowing the spread of the virus over our children’s developmental needs. As a result, we have failed our kids. We cannot choose one need over another; we should balance creating a safe environment while getting our children back in the classroom as much as possible.

There are many students with health issues that put them at risk, not to mention teachers, substitute teachers, teachers’ aides, staff, and administrators. Everyone wants to go back to normal, but a return to school will be as unnatural as eLearning. I find it hard to believe that everyone will wear masks all the time also.

I believe there will be low risk if all students where a mask and wash their hands. If teachers are nervous, they can install plexi at their desks and they can keep their distance.

As important as education in school is, it doesn't trump life.

Is death or a lifetime of health issues preferable to being in school? No.

Priority for grade k-2 (and higher, if can be accommodated) for as close to "full time" on premise as possible. Older groups staggered as appropriate, with e-learning used to accommodate courses that don't fit neatly with students keeping consistent on-premise cohorts.

The child-to-adult transmission rate is fairly low for children below age 10, but after that it is as high as adult-to-adult transmission. So, children over 10, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, can bring this home to their parents, family, caregivers, and infect many, many people. Too dangerous, and too many other unknowns.

We will keep the survey open and continue to collect your responses. Share your views by clicking here:


latimerIn a signal that Westchester County may be nearing the end of the COVID crisis for now, County Executive George Latimer gave his final daily briefing on Monday July 6, 2020, wrapping up four months of daily updates. With reduced infection and hospitalization rates, Latimer will move to weekly updates.

However, he did report that there has been a slight uptick in the number of active cases with 527 reported today. Prior to a week ago, that number had steadily declined, but in the past week it has oscillated. Latimer surmised that the slight increase might be due to the outbreak in Chappaqua that occurred when a student returned from Florida and infected others at the Chappaqua High School graduation and field night.

Latimer reported that only 1% of tests yielded positive results, and most recently out of 4,000 tests, 41 positive cases were identified. Westchester County has tested 291,000 people, and although there may be some duplication, Latimer believes that about 1/3 of the county’s population has been tested.

Overall 1,427 people in the county died from COVID. There were no deaths the prior night, and in the past week, 3 people died. As of Saturday, 61 people remained in the hospital due to the virus.

Latimer attributed the drop in cases to compliance with the order to wear masks and people’s growing willingness to practice social distancing.

About the spike in Chappaqua spike, Latimer reported that it has now been more than two weeks since the graduation and field night on Saturday June 20. Contact tracers were used to identify those who might be infected and to recommend quarantines for those who may have been exposed. From that night 27 positive cases have been identified. Since many of those affected were young, Latimer is hopeful that they will not get very sick and require hospitalization.

The County is expected to move to Phase 4 of the reopening on Tuesday July 7, 2020. Small outdoor events, for up to 50 people will be permitted, such as the Scarsdale Band Concerts in Chase Park. Not included in the Phase 4 reopenings are amusement parks and gyms and health clubs which are subject to a separate governor’s order.

The County has opened their golf courses, day camps and beaches. However, as of now, anyone from outside the county is banned from coming to a Westchester County beach. This decision will be revisited in the near future.

County Executive Latimer appeared pleased with Westchester’s progress to date, but cautioned residents to remain on guard, wear masks and closely evaluate where they are going and their comfort level with their surroundings.


tentA large dining tent has been opened on Spencer Place in Scarsdale.Westchester County is continuing to reopen and along with the rest of the Mid-Hudson region has entered Phase Three. This means that restaurants can now serve both indoors and out and restaurant bars can serve, provided that they have no more than 50% of their maximum allowable occupancy.

Also now permitted to open are nail salons, spas, massage and tattoo parlors and other personal care businesses. Again customers must wear masks, be six feet apart and facilities are limited to 50% occupancy.

Scarsdale has responded to these new dining guidelines by opening a large dining tent in the Village. The upper portion of Spencer Place is closed, and a dining tent with tables has been set up to allow residents to enjoy drinks and meals outside in the Village.

The Scarsdale Business Alliance announced that 27 restaurants will participate in the “Dine the Dale” initiative. A few restaurants will be serving inside the tent, others will deliver to the tent and the balance ask customers to come in and pick up food and bring it to the tent to enjoy. Below please find the complete list of food providers and the type of service they offer.ShadeStoreThe Shade Store is now open on Spencer Place.

According to Trustee Jane Veron, “There is a steady stream of patrons who use the space, and we are thrilled that residents are carefully cleaning up with sanitizing wipes. The Scarsdale Business Alliance has been raising funds from property owners, real estate agencies and other sponsors to begin to cover the cost. Scarsdale Flower Shop has provided décor, and Scarsdale Security is managing the cameras. Given the tremendous popularity of this concept, we plan to add more tables adjacent to De Cicco's on East Parkway. We are also working with the other Scarsdale retail hubs to help them roll out similar, smaller scale initiatives. Right now, we're having active conversations with Garth Road, Scarsdale Avenue and the Golden Horseshoe.”


rocks1Jewelry designer Lauren Kessler and her daughter Carly, a rising sophomore at the University of Richmond, found an outlet for their creativity during the quarantine. Since her daughter was home from college and everyone was stuck at home, the two spent quality time hand painting rocks and leaving them throughout Secor Farms for their neighbors to enjoy.

Lauren and Carly enjoy spreading smiles throughout the community. Everyday they spread a few more rocks while they walk their two dogs Ernie and Oscar. Neighbors have been leaving the rocks in place and enjoying them daily during their walks.


KesslersLauren and Carly KesslerSee Lauren’s jewelry designs at:

ArestTrustee Justin Arest enjoyed lunch with his daughter outside on June 15.(This information was forwarded to us by the Scarsdale Business Alliance)
Scarsdale diners, hunkered down at home for the last few months, now have something to celebrate. Scarsdale Business Alliance (SBA) is thrilled to announce the opening of its Dine the ‘Dale outdoor dining space, which will be located in Scarsdale Village on Spencer Place between Harwood Court and East Parkway.

Are you ready to see friends and neighbors again, while dining on some of your favorite Scarsdale restaurants’ best dishes? Take a break from cooking, and come dine in Scarsdale Village,either under the 3,000 square foot tent located on Spencer Place or in the adjacent uncovered area. Scarsdale restaurants are so excited to welcome their customers back to the Village. Scarsdale diners can take a seat at one of the safely spaced picnic tables to enjoy table service from some establishments, delivery from others, or take-out from any of the Scarsdale Village restaurants. This is in addition to the outdoor dining areas already offered by some of Scarsdale’s favorite restaurants.

Enthusiasm for the large outdoor food space is growing, as both restaurant owners and residents await its’ opening this week. Of course, to ensure everyone's safety, diners will have to follow social distancing and safety guidelines, including wearing a mask when not seated.

Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to eat out while supporting our Village center restaurants. As Scarsdale slowly reopens, this is just another step towards bringing our residents together while still staying safely apart.

The SBA is extremely grateful to Scarsdale Improvement Corp., the lead sponsor of this initiative, as well as Spencer East Realty. Additional sponsors include Partyline Rentals LTD and Scarsdale Security.

Not only can you dine outside in Scarsdale Village, you can also safely shop outside while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Following a public hearing, the Scarsdale Board of Trustees voted unanimously to amend village code to allow Village retailers to display and sell their wares outside their storefronts. “The village has spent considerable time listening to our needs and has been inclusive, welcoming and accommodating. We are thrilled to have entered Phase 2 of reopening and are excited to bring vibrancy back to our village center,” said Marcy Berman-Goldstein, co-president of the Scarsdale Business Alliance.DiningTentThe top half of Spencer Place has been closed to traffic and a large dining tent is up.

“It is beyond inspiring to see the collaboration between the Scarsdale Business Alliance, property owners, and Village staff. In record time, they have reimagined our Village Center. Our community will be the beneficiaries of their creativity, innovation and energy. These initiatives will infuse vitality into our retail hubs and set us on a path of forward momentum. I am filled with optimism and am grateful for the resiliency and determination of our business community,” said Deputy Mayor Jane Veron.

SBA board members have worked tirelessly in coordination with Village officials on all phases of Scarsdale’s reopening. The SBA has regularly informed merchants of the applicable and ever-changing rules, assisted with allowing street level merchants to use sidewalk space, and helped reimagine innovative outdoor space usage on Scarsdale streets. The Village is also exploring avenues for health and wellness businesses to serve their local Scarsdale customers. In addition, the SBA continues to work with Scarsdale businesses outside of the Village Center to re-open and address current issues. All these endeavors, including this outdoor food hall initiative, put Scarsdale on a path to be the dynamic and vibrant town we all miss.


Scarsdale Village has approved the Spencer Place road closure and outdoor dining space through Labor Day Weekend (subject to a one-month trial), with the possibility of extending the initiative through October based on its success and need. This location allows for minimal disruption to traffic patterns, while maintaining the maximum number of parking spaces possible. Vehicles traveling on Spencer Place will be rerouted through Harwood Court.

The Village is providing merchant parking spots to Village center businesses in the Freightway Garage and is currently working on converting some of the commuter spots in Christie Place Garage to pay as you go meters to provide additional parking for Village patrons.

The SBA looks forward to infusing our Village with a renewed sense of community and togetherness after months of being apart.

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