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Trickling back: Local school districts take different approaches to in-person instruction

Trickling back: Local school districts take different approaches to in-person instruction

While the Saugerties and Onteora school districts recently welcomed students back into the classroom in hybrid educational models, the Kingston and New Paltz districts were inching closer to putting their own plans into action. Each district is finding it has its own set of unique challenges. Though all are developing safety and cleaning protocols based on Covid-19 state guidance, they are finding no one-size-fits-all solution.

Kingston schools halt food-service after employee tests positive for Covid-19

Kingston schools halt food-service after employee tests positive for Covid-19

The Kingston City School District has suspended its food service after a member of its food service department tested positive this week for Covid-19. In a message posted to the district website, the district says the Ulster County Department of Health believes the result may be a false positive and the result is being tested to a state lab for re-examination. It says information on when meal distribution will resume will be available soon. 

Section 9 postpones fall 2020 high school sports until March 2021

Section 9 postpones fall 2020 high school sports until March 2021

Section 9 voted today to delay the start of fall sports until March 1, 2021. This came off the heels of the New York State Public School Athletic Administration’s (NYSPSAA) decision to postpone all “high risk” fall sports, including football, cheerleading and volleyball until March 1. Section 9 took matters a step further and pushed all fall sports, even “low risk” athletics like soccer, girls’ field hockey, swimming and tennis to March 1.

Fate of high school sports to be decided this week

Fate of high school sports to be decided this week

This Thursday, September 10, the fate of high-school fall sports will be decided by the Section IX Athletic Council, which is slated to meet via Zoom. Although governor Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for fall varsity sports to begin practice on September 21 – with “low-risk” sports like cross-country running, soccer and girls’ swimming able to compete within their region and “high-risk” sports like football, cheerleading and volleyball limited solely to practice with no scrimmages or games – the state provided very little guidance, leaving each district and section to make its own determinations.

Ulster exec announces plan to support school reopening

Ulster exec announces plan to support school reopening

The five-part plan will focus on setting guidelines for proper screening and testing processes, investigating positive cases through contact tracing, offering support for school-specific isolation plans, establishing a communication plan between the county and individual school districts, and providing protection for students and faculty.

Local school districts opt to begin year with remote learning

Local school districts opt to begin year with remote learning

The reasons given were varied. All centered on concerns for safety. Some districts reported supply-chain issues with various PPE (personal protective equipment) or cleaning supplies. Some said remote learning would provide the time for more training of teachers and other staff. More time in an ever-evolving pandemic is something in short supply.