DEXTER, N.Y. (WWTI) — As the week comes to a close, more North Country schools are sharing their reopening plans for fall.
This included the General Brown Central School District, which confirmed that all students will be returning to full, in-person instruction. This is permitted through certain recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Education Department. ]
General Brown Superintendent Barbara Case addressed this plan in a video published to the community.
“The overall goal for the 2021-2022 school year is to maximize in-person teaching and learning, be responsive to student needs, and to keep students and employees healthy and safe,” Case said in the video. The [District] will use multi-layered prevention strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and any related variants, in order to maintain the safe operations of our school district.”
To allow for this reopening, Case confirmed that the District will be requiring masks for all students, faculty and staff. This is based on guidance from the CDC, recommending mask wearing in K-12 schools in an indoor setting. Masks will not be required when outdoors or when eating in a cafeteria.
Regarding social distancing, three feet will be maintained between students in classrooms and on school busses. Six feet will be maintained between students and employees, and six feet between employees who are not fully vaccinated.
General Brown will also use additional prevention strategies such as proper ventilation in classroom and on school busses, teaching handwashing etiquette and cleaning and disinfecting regularly.
For contact tracing and quarantine procedures, the District will work with the State Health Department and Jefferson County Public Health to determine close contacts. Close contacts are defined as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. This definition excludes students who are within three to six feet of an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed student correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time.
Visitors to District buildings will also be limited. This includes nonessential visitors, volunteers and indoor activities involving external groups and organizations. The District will utilize drop boxes for papers or items to be left for the school at the District Office and main entrances of the three school buildings.
General Brown has also eliminated its remote instruction model. However, it will use it as a back-up in the event of a virus surge.
Superintendent Case shared that the District is also considering vaccine verification for students and employees. This would require those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to provide proof of vaccination to the District. Vaccine verification would have to be in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
The General Brown Central School District will begin its 2021-2022 school year on Tuesday, September 7. The full video released by Superintendent Case can be viewed below: