ONTARIO COUNTY; WAYNE COUNTY, (WROC) — A new school year is approaching fast. Districts across the region are working with each other on reopening plans, after the state announced they wouldn’t be offering formal guidance.
The news came as a shock to many superintendents, according to the Monroe County Council of Superintendents.
The Rochester City School District released their plans on opening this Friday, closely following CDC recommendations like mask-wearing, screening and temperature checks.
But many other districts in the region are still working through how they want to go about this.
Andy Doell is the superintendent for Bloomfield Central Schools.
He says a year ago, superintendents were scrambling to submit a plan to the state for approval. This year is nothing like that.
Doell says he and other county superintendents are teaming together with local health officials to figure it out.
“We also all agree that having students back in person is what’s best, we are 100% committed to making that happen,” said Doell.
They want to come up with one plan for all superintendents in Ontario County to follow, instead of a mix match.
He says most would agree masking is a part of that plan, but there are some differing opinions on the specifics.
“There are minor points and questions, about when masking would be appropriate, when it wouldn’t be appropriate, what it looks like on the bus,” he said.
Over in Wayne County, health director Diane Devlin says they’re taking a similar route: one plan for all districts to follow county-wide, closely following CDC recommendations.
“So that one district isn’t doing one thing, and the neighboring district is doing another, because it causes tension among parents and teachers,” she said.
She says COVID cases are also rising among younger ages lately. One in five cases for Wayne County are children, as of August 6.
It’s definitely a concern, she says, and the biggest message they have for parents and families is to get vaccinated
“Even if you don’t think you need it you can be doing a service to your community,” said Kerry VanAuken, Deputy Director for Wayne County Health Department. “By helping those individuals who can’t get the vaccine themselves, either because they’re immunocompromised or because they’re not old enough to be vaccinated currently,” she said.
Devlin says one of the key recommendations from the CDC is to mask-up.
She says desks will likely be three feet apart instead of six to accommodate a full reopening.
The vaccine is currently available for those 12 years of age and older.
There is a clinic this Sunday for kids at the Edgerton R-center – from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.