Niagara Wheatfield Families,

As I am sure you are aware, there has been much discussion recently regarding safely reopening schools.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidelines, which include commentary on safe social distancing at all levels in education and the impact of community transmission rates on reopening.  See CDC link here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/operation-strategy.html

First, let me start by saying that school districts in New York State must await a change in guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department prior to making any changes related to the new CDC guidelines.  However, I wanted to share how the guidelines could impact Niagara Wheatfield, if adopted in New York State.

Clearly, each district is in a different place with regard to how many students are currently attending, how many days students are attending, and the types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being utilized.  All of these factors will play a role in determining how much a district is able to change from their current Continuity of Learning Plan.  Below is what the CDC guidance, if adopted as written, would mean for our District:

Elementary Level

  • Our elementary program would remain the same for the remainder of the year if the new CDC guidelines are adopted.  Families participating in the Regular Program would continue sending their children every day, unless community transmission rates dictate otherwise.  Also, our fully remote families would be able to remain in the current program until the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Looking to next year, all students would be expected to return to in-person instruction and follow the protocols outlined in NYS guidelines and District plans.  Only students qualifying for Homebound Instruction would be eligible for alternative/remote instruction.*

Middle School and High School

  • Our middle school and high school programs would likely see some alterations.  One challenge will be determining how to bring students back more regularly, while at the same time providing remote instruction for our students who do not attend in-person instruction.  The new State guidelines will likely address busing and food service, which will be critical components to any alteration we make to our current District plan.

  • Looking to next year, all students would be expected to return to in-person instruction and follow the protocols outlined in NYS guidelines and District plans.  Only students qualifying for Homebound Instruction would be eligible for alternative/remote instruction.*

Our District will continue to be flexible and ready to make changes should NYS adjust guidelines for schools.  It will also be our goal to provide as much advance notice as possible, if adjustments are made to the current educational program.

Have a great week,

Daniel G. Ljiljanich

Superintendent

*NYSED Link regarding Homebound Instruction (aka - Home Hospital Instruction) can be found here: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nonpub/handbookonservices/homeboundinstruction.html