Re-Opening OBEN Schools 

    With the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff as our highest priority, our District has been diligently working with our stakeholders and state, local and community organizations to devise comprehensive plans to re-open our schools safely in September. Under New York State Education Department (NYSED) guidelines, school districts are required to plan for three models of instruction: in-person, remote and hybrid, meaning a combination of the two.

    On Friday, August 7, Governor Cuomo gave authorization for schools across the state to re-open for in-person instruction, based on the state's low infection rate, which has been below 1 percent for several weeks.

    In June, the Governor issued the following metrics for re-opening: schools in regions that are in phase IV can reopen if the daily infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average. Schools in regions where the infection rate rises over 9 percent after August  1 will remain closed.

    On July 31, the District submitted its districtwide re-opening plan to the State as mandated. This plan must be approved by the Department of Health (DOH) in order to officially open. 

    Assuming we are permitted to open, our plan in the first phase of our students’ return in September is to have all students, grades Pre-K to 8, in school every day, in-person, and students in grades 9-12 in school, in-person on alternate days. On days when students are not physically in-school, they will be provided with instruction via synchronous live engagement that mirrors the learning experiences within the classroom. We will continue to assess and make modifications to our plans to best meet the needs of our learning community. 

    We understand that there will be some students who will be unable to attend in-person. The Board of Education has asked that we develop a remote learning plan for its consideration at our August 11th workshop meeting for students who will not return to school in the fall. This meeting will be live streamed for public viewing at https://youtu.be/llKb52HV6U8. Any questions or comments may be submitted to the District Clerk at mnolan@obenschools.org by the Monday before the meeting. 

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