Greater Amsterdam school reopening plan for 2020-21

A comprehensive framework for re-entry amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Amsterdam School District, Mohawk Valley Region, New York State

amsterdam logoNOTE: If for any reason you have difficulty accessing this plan please contact GASD District Clerk lschell@gasd.org at 518-843-3180

Plan submitted by:

The Greater Amsterdam School District and the school district SAFER Committee
140 Saratoga Ave., Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone: 518-843-3180  Fax: 518-842-0012

Richard Ruberti, Superintendent of Schools
Stephen Nolan, GASD Health Coordinator and SAFER Committee Chairman

For information by category in this reopening schools plan please access the specific link on the right column of this web page.

Introduction

On July 13, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5 percent or lower in a given region. 

Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5 percent or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9 percent over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close.

Since last spring, several members of the GASD staff have been participating in regional meetings to discuss relevant issues related to reopening schools in September. Additionally, the district’s SAFER Committee, made up of stakeholders from all segments of the organization, has been meeting since regularly to review all available and emerging resources form the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NYS Department of Health, the NYS Education Department, and the Governor’s Office. The SAFER Committee has also reviewed reopening plans from several other states to be informed. The main committee and its sub-groups have assessed school building capacity to comply with social distancing, food service, and transportation protocols. Building administrators have met with sub-committees in their respective buildings to consider scheduling and staffing for instructional delivery, regardless of the evolving circumstances that may occur throughout the coming year. And, finally, the district has conducted three surveys of parents and/or staff to gain understanding of needs as decisions have been made in pursuit of complying with all Department of Health expectations.  

While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the district is also planning for remote/distance learning as well as a for a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning.

The school will facilitate Remote Learning Only (ROL) instruction for any student who requires it due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, for those who are deemed medically vulnerable or for any family that chooses this option and commits to it for the entire first trimester (elementary) or first quarter (middle and high school) of the 2020-21 school year. Parents must sign up for this ROL option by Aug. 19, 2020. More Information. Students participating in the ROL model, however, must meet certain criteria and guidelines to enroll. More information

Parents should understand that Remote Only Learning is NOT the preferred and recommended learning model for the Greater Amsterdam School District Instructional Program during this COVID-19 reopening. The recommended plan combines hybrid part-time, onsite, in-person classroom instruction with face-to-face, proper socialization opportunities for students/teachers two days per week combined with remote learning from home three days per week. For Special Education students who are part of a special class (ie. 12:1:1, 12:1:2, etc), attendance under this plan would be onsite daily. For those special education students who receive Consultant Teacher services, these students will attend two days a week with their cohort. While onsite, all students and staff will follow social-distancing school protocols and be expected to wear masks with the exception of designated times such as scheduled lunch breaks and various classroom mask wearing breaks.

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Greater Amsterdam School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools:

Amsterdam High School

140 Saratoga Ave.
Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone: (518) 843-4932
Tyrone O’Meally, Principal
AHS School Webpage

Lynch Literacy Academy

55 Brandt Place
Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone: (518) 843-3716
Elizabeth HananPrincipal

LLA School Webpage

Barkley Elementary School

66 DeStefano St.
Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone: (518) 843-1850
Donna DeckerPrincipal
Barkley School Webpage

Marie Curie Institute

9 Brice St.
Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone: (518) 843-2871
John PenmanPrincipal
Marie Curie Institute Webpage

McNulty Academy

60 Brandt Place
Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone: (518) 843-4773
Eric RomanoPrincipal
McNulty Academy Webpage

Tecler Elementary School

210 Northern Boulevard
Amsterdam, NY 12010
Phone: (518) 843-4805
John MillerPrincipal
Tecler School Webpage

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our schools.

Stephen Nolan, District Health Coordinator and Chairman of the GASD SAFER Committee, will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Nolan will work closely with our Montgomery County Public Health Department and serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members. He will also ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. Stephen Nolan may be reach at 518-843-3180, Ext. 1012 or emailed at snolan@gasd.org.