Warren County schools push for reopening guidance from state

[anvplayer video=”5045220″ station=”998132″]

The start of the school year is around the corner, and educational leaders in Warren County are calling on the state to release updated guidance for dealing with the pandemic this new school year.

"We’re almost at the end of July now, and we don’t have guidelines for September. We haven’t been able to finalize our master schedules. We haven’t been able to finalize our bus runs," said Superintendent John Goralski, with the Warrensburg Central School District.

For superintendents in Warren County, the hope is new guidelines will allow for students to be back in the classroom full time.

While Superintendent Gorlaski says teachers put in their best efforts with remote and hybrid learning, he believes the best learning is done in the classroom.

"It was difficult last year with hybrid and remote learning, and we had record numbers of students who were failing or dropping out," he said.

Without a clear picture of what the state’s health guidelines will look like, they are in a logistical limbo, especially when it comes to things like transportation.

"Right now, it’s wearing masks with the windows open, and there’s one student per seat." said Superintendent Jim Dexter, of the WSWHE BOCES District. "Think about that as far as getting all students to school. If we can’t get all students to school, we would need a hybrid approach."

As they anxiously await answers from health officials, both educators and lawmakers are hoping the guidance reflects that there is no one size fits all approach.

"Make it regional. Don’t penalize our kids because another region isn’t ready or doesn’t think they can tackle this," Sen. Dan Stec said.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to the governor’s office and received this response from a spokesperson with the Department of Health:

"We continue to review the new CDC guidance, communicate with school districts around the state, and will ultimately make our recommendations based on what is in the best interest of public health, particularly when it comes to children; not some arbitrary deadline."