What to Know

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo cleared all New York school districts to reopen in the fall, making the decision based on the seven-day rolling infection rate in the state’s 10 regions. All regions are well below his 5 % positivity threshold
  • Schools will have to shut down again if their region ticks above 9 percent; NYC has a stricter mark of 3 percent. It won’t open schools if the positivity rate is higher than that and it’ll re-close them if it does after they reopen
  • Ultimately, Cuomo says a low infection rate won’t get parents to send their kids to school or teachers to show; he calls on individual school districts to inform them of detailed plans and post testing and other protocol online

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the green light Friday to reopen New York’s 750 school districts in person this fall — a data-driven decision that mirrors the threshold-based calls he made on the phased economic reopenings for the state’s 10 regions. But this decision is different. Cuomo says it’s ultimately not up to him.

“Parents have to be included and believe the plan makes sense. Teachers have to be included and believe the plan makes sense. They are the ultimate determination,” Cuomo said this week. “If a teacher doesn’t show up, you can’t open the class. If a parent doesn’t send their child there’s no child to educate.”

The state still has to sign off on each of New York’s 749 school districts’ individual plans; if it doesn’t, those districts don’t reopen in September. Of those 749 districts, 127 have yet to submit plans for the 2020-21 school year, Cuomo said. Of the ones that have, about 50 have been deemed insufficient. The state Department of Health will review the individual school plans over the weekend and notify districts where it finds them incomplete, he said.

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