Community update from Superintendent Dunn on return-to-school plans

Dear Middleburgh CSD families,

With the start of the new school year fast approaching, I know that many of you are anxious to learn of the district’s opening plans. I wanted to share with you an update of what we are proposing at this time, with the knowledge that this is still an evolving situation and that the information below is subject to change.

Based on guidance from the New York State Education Department, the New York State Department of Health and our Schoharie Department of Health, the district is tentatively proposing the implementation of a layered mitigation plan that allows the district to adjust Covid-19 policy and protocols to the level of local transmission rates as provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); the lower the rates, the lower the restrictions.

More specifically, our tentative plan includes the following elements:

  • Schools will be open five days a week for in-person instruction at both the elementary and secondary levels. Remote instruction will only be available for students with verifiable medical conditions and will be coordinated through the Capital Region BOCES.
  • Students will be seated three feet apart in classroom spaces, to the extent possible.
  • The school year will likely begin with mandatory masking indoors for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination, status given the fact that Schoharie County is categorized as “High Risk” per the CDC. If local transmission rates decline to a point of low or moderate transmission, masks will then become optional. Students will receive mask breaks throughout the day.
  • Masking will be optional (student and staff choice) for all outdoor activities.
  • Students must wear masks on buses, and buses will be at capacity.
    As a district, our goal is to safely welcome back all of our students into our school buildings daily for a high-quality, in-person educational experience. I believe that the plan outlined above will allow us to do this.

The Middleburgh Board of Education is expected to review and approve a final opening plan for the district at its meeting on August 25. A comprehensive outline of the plan, including specifics of our tiered mitigation strategy, will be shared with the community at that time.

You can also learn more about the tentative opening plan by joining us for the upcoming Virtually Speaking event on Aug. 23.

Thank you for your patience and trust as we work to welcome your children back to school this fall. We are all looking forward to a great school year!

Brian P. Dunn, Superintendent