To the Rochester City School District Community,
I need to begin this letter by saying “thank you.” Ending the 2019 – 2020 school year during a global pandemic was nothing anyone in our community could have imagined. During the past several months, you have been incredibly flexible, patient, innovative, and resilient. Our RCSD community has shown its ability to navigate through this fluid situation with creativity and forward thinking.
Looking ahead to the upcoming school year, a lot of questions remain about what school will look like and when will we “return to normal.” While some of those questions can’t be answered as of this writing. The District has been working hard to prepare students, families, and staff for as safe as possible return to school for 2020 – 21. The health and safety of all students, staff, and school communities remain our priority.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York State Department of Health have released guidelines to help school districts as they plan to reopen, whether that occurs in person, remotely, or a combination of the two. These guidance documents outline strict parameters that districts must follow in order to reopen schools safely. With that in mind, the District will continue to follow guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, NYSED, New York State, and Monroe County. We thank our partners at all levels of government, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, County Executive Bello, and County Health Director Dr. Michael Mendoza, for their guidance.
Our initial plans to return to school include a hybrid model of a return to brick and mortar buildings combined with digital learning as well as learning completely online. Feedback from varied internal and external stakeholders was an essential part of our planning. An online survey was launched the first week in July to help us better understand the concerns and questions individuals have as we consider a safe return to our school buildings. The Rochester City School District will continue to provide all students with access to high-quality grade-level instruction. While we understand distance learning has not been easy, teachers, administrators, and support staff will continue to work hard to ensure that your children have the materials and supports necessary to be successful.
This document details the safety precautions the District is undergoing to ensure a safe and healthy return to school. As always, we ask for your patience when visiting a school building as protocols and procedures may be different due to COVID-19. In order to keep everyone safe, please adhere to the guidelines and measures listed within this document.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we work together to maintain a healthy learning environment.
Lesli Myers-Small, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools