Return to Headlines

July 27, 2020 Update on Reopening

Hello to all our Falcon Families! 

I hope each of you are enjoying your summer.  If it’s anything like my household, it feels like forever since we were in school, for students and parents. As we look ahead to September, there are no easy answers.  Our reopening committee and nine subcommittees are hard at work designing what school might be like. Even if we come up with the perfect plan, there will be disagreement. While we worry about the health and well-being of our students, families, teachers and staff, we also realize school is critically important for our young minds and for our working parents. 

The co-chairs for our reopening committee, Mrs. Makowski and Mr. Sikorski, will provide the recommendations of the committee and present them to our Board of Education on August 4th. A number of surveys will also go out asking about choices each family will have to make as it relates to masks, transportation and so much more.  Please take the time to complete any survey that comes to you as it will provide valuable direct feedback that will impact our planning over the next six weeks.

In all honesty, any choice we make will be the wrong choice. The guidance we get from letter filled abbreviations such as CDC, DOH, SED, WHO and more, often contradict each other or are unclear. For example, in the 140 plus pages of the guidance from the State Education Department (SED) it asks that districts “ensure” social distancing and then later states that if there are any contradictions, districts are to follow the NYS Department of Health (DOH) guidance.  DOH says social distancing should be used, but if it can’t, masks are to be worn.  So are we required to have classrooms at 50% capacity as per SED or can we return fully with masks as per DOH? This is the battle committees, principals, teachers, superintendents and Boards of Education are having daily. With the infection rate in WNY and across the state hovering around 1%, we are in a good place as a community.  If we reopen fully, what happens if this increases the infection rate? On the other hand, is it more harmful to our children and community if we don’t try to return to normal?  A consensus is unreachable as can be seen by many conversations on social media or the news.  

So where does all of this leave those that call Frontier home? We will make a choice, a choice that will likely be argued and debated for years to come. Once we know what the numbers tell Governor Cuomo, so he can make a decision on whether we can proceed with one of our three plans, we will work tirelessly to create the safest environment possible for everyone. Things will be different this year but if there is one thing that is certain, we will do everything we can for our Falcons.  

Yours in Blue,
Dr. Hughes