Penfield parent survey: 63% confident about sending children to school in September

Back to School: Facts First

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — The Penfield Central School District sent out a statement Monday regarding the current reopening plans for fall 2020, including the results of a recent parent survey.

The plan follows guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department. Penfield also has a Reopening Task Force working on how to begin the upcoming school year safely. The board consists of district and building administrators, teachers, staff representatives and members of the Parent Advisory Board.

MORE | New York state releases 145 pages of guidance on reopening schools to help districts develop plans

In a community survey, about 63% of parents said they are confident or very confident about sending their children back to school in September.

Additionally, 25% of parents say they are unsure about it, 10% are not confident, and less than 2% say they will not send their children to school until there is a vaccine.

The district says they will share the reopening plan by the end of next week, which will be updated and submitted by July 31 for the governor’s approval.

The final decision will be made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo sometime between August 1 and 7.

Letter from Penfield Superintendent Dr. Thomas Putnam:

“PCSD Families,

As you are probably aware, we received guidance from the NYS Education Department, the NYS Department of Health and Gov. Cuomo’s office this week regarding reopening school for the 2020-21 school year. We understand that you are anxious to know how we will follow these guidelines and what school will “look like” this fall. With that in mind, our Reopening Task Force, which includes district and building administrators, teacher leaders, staff representatives and members of the Parent Advisory Board, will be working throughout the next week to unpack the state guidance and to review parent, student and staff input. The state guidelines are available on our website at the following link: State Reopening Guidance

Our plan will include details on how we will hold school in-person, online, or a combination of the two (hybrid learning). The health, safety and well-being of our students, staff and families has to be the priority as we finalize our plans. Thank you to the parents, students and staff who took the time to complete our recent surveys – this input is invaluable as we refine our plans.

To give you a sense of where we are as a school community, the family survey indicated that about 63% of parents are confident or very confident about sending their children to school in September, 25% are unsure, about 10% are not confident, and just under 2% will not send their children to school until there is a COVID-19 vaccine.

At this time, we are working toward having our tentative plan in place by next Friday, July 24th. We will share the plan with you by the end of the day next Friday for your feedback. The plan will then be refined during the week of July 27th and submitted to the state by July 31st as required. The final plan will be posted on our website after it has been submitted. Please keep in mind that Gov. Cuomo will not make a final decision on reopening school until the week of Aug. 1-7.

While school will certainly look different once again this year, I have every confidence that you and all of Team Penfield will rise to the occasion and do what’s best for our students.

Please continue to watch your email for updates and as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

Thomas K. Putnam, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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