No reported COVID outbreaks in local schools, charter school opens classroom to more students

Back to School: Facts First

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — While the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Monroe County, health officials say schools are doing well, with no reported cases of transmission in k-12 schools. 

The Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School has protocols they believe are helping to keep students safe, and they are now able to open their doors to students from across the area who are looking for in person learning.

For students in the classroom, the safety protocols for sanitizing, masking and social distancing have been a challenge for schools.

“We knew it was going to be difficult. We knew it was going to be expensive because all these safety protocols are expensive but we knew that in order to serve families, we needed to do it,” said Miriam Vazquez, Executive director, Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School.

The measures many schools have implemented are keeping students safe, according to the Monroe county public health commissioner. He said in a press conference Thursday that there has been virtually no transmission in k through12 schools.

“Schools have followed very carefully developed plans. A huge amount of effort went into creating these plans and it was chaotic at first but it is clearly working. We are looking at how those might be adapted to other institutions and businesses,” said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Public Health Commissioner Monroe County.

About 40% of the Eugenio María de Hostos Charter School’s students are doing in-person learning. Leaders there have spread students throughout the campus in classrooms of up to 13.

The school says they have found enough space to offer in-person learning to 50 additional students in Kindergarten and Second Grade.

“Offering them to families in the Rochester area looking for an in-person experience,” said Vazquez. “Spreading out using every inch of the school in order to be able to offer in-person, we know how important that is to families and many of our children struggle on a virtual platform.”

Leaders say establishing strict safety regulations and working with families are some of the key things schools are doing well.

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