Coronavirus Facts First

What schools reopening might look like in Monroe County

Local News

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — “Opening schools is very difficult,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing this week.

The governor said the earliest schools could reopen is May 18, and even that might be too soon. For ideas on how to keep social distancing intact, Cuomo is looking to the districts. 

“We’re really starting to continue to build this airplane as we fly it,” said Thomas Putnam, President of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents, and Superintendent of Penfield schools.

Putnam said if schools do reopen next month, expect a world of daily deep-cleans and students spread out. 

“We are in conversations to put in as much social distancing as possible,” he said.

Putnam said that includes wearing masks, and making sure desks are far enough apart in classrooms, which could end up being smaller. Expect distance requirements for the seats in the cafeteria, locker rooms and lunch lines.

The biggest concern for him? School buses.

“Our full school buses are more difficult to create social distancing on a school bus that may have 40 to 50 students on it,” Putnam said.

Putnam said they’re ready to start making these plans a reality to get the doors open once the go-ahead is given. 

“We’ll be doing everything we can to make sure we have social distancing in place and whatever else the Monroe County Department of Health is asking us to do,” Putnam said.

Putnam said these discussion are happening across the country, and what districts come up with to limit the spread of COVID-19 could be a framework going forward beyond 2020.

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