Leaders talk reopening in Town Hall: ‘We feel really good about where our schools are’

Back to School

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The first day of school is fast approaching, local schools are set to reopen their doors again in two weeks.

On Tuesday evening, several Monroe County leaders discussed the reopening process at a News 8 Special Town Hall Event.

“We feel really good about where our schools are, heading into September,” President of the Monroe County Council of Superintendents, Bo Wright said.

Wright, also the Rush-Henrietta Superintendent, says universal masking will be a part of Monroe County’s reopening.

“All schools across the county have adopted a universal masking protocol and that seems to be getting support at the state level now,” Wright said. “We’re going to be distancing students and staff to the extent possible.”

Now, it won’t be just be schools here at home — according to Gov. Kathy Hochul everyone in every New York school building must wear a mask, while staff will be required to get vaccinated or be tested weekly.

Superintendent Wright says schools won’t implement that on a local level — instead waiting on a potential state mandate.

“Our position has been all along that if that mandate was going to come, that it’s appropriate that it comes from the state,” Wright said. “If that comes to pass, we’ll figure out a way to work with our local department of health and those at the state level to implement it.”

On Tuesday, at well-attended school board meetings in Fairport and in Greece, parents again shared their thoughts. Many expressed support for masking — others showed opposition and concerned with the impact masking will have on students.

At Tuesday’s town hall, Dr. Michael Mendoza, commissioner of the Monroe County Department of Health, says masking is necessary to keep things safe both at school and on the field.

“We all need to work together to keep our schools open, and indeed to keep athletics open,” Mendoza said. “That means wearing our mask particularly on the sidelines, in the stands at indoor games.”

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