Greece, N.Y. – The superintendent of the Greece Central School District says last week’s guidance from the CDC, which suggested it’s safe to bring students back into the classroom full-time, came with some relief.
“The CDC guidance really follows and outlines much of what we’re already doing and what we are doing here in Monroe County and New York State,” Superintendent Kathleen Graupman said Tuesday. “So, I think that was comforting, in that there wasn’t anything so vastly different.”
The CDC’s new guidance suggested schools are safe to reopen full-time, with certain factors such as masking and social distancing.
Throughout this academic year, health leaders have noted the low transmission of the virus within schools.
Graupman said one thing she was hoping to see in the CDC guidance was some relief on six-foot distancing regulations. That, she says, has been one of the most difficult hurdles in bringing back more students full-time. And, with concerns of new variants of the virus lingering, she says she expects those distancing guidelines to stick around in the short term.
Still, she says, she’s hopeful that the 2021-2022 school year will see even more students returning to the classroom – with a few of this year’s new safety practices still in place.
“I would see us with most of the same protocols in terms of our cleaning, our disinfecting, masking, a lot of the things we’ve just sort of built into our system, I can see continuing,” she said. “I would love to see that with all of our kids back and the relief on the social distancing part of it.”
“I can’t look ahead and know exactly what’s going to happen with variants or with numbers and things like that,” she added, “but my hope is if we can keep our numbers decreasing, if we continue to get people vaccinated, all of these things, if we can work really hard as a community to get to a better place, that we will be able to do that in the fall. That would be my perfect world, and that’s what I’m planning for.”
With the release of the CDC’s guidance, Graupman says she hopes to see updates from the State Department of Health on its specific guidance for New York schools – whether that include changes to the guidance or reinforcement of existing rules.