Updated COVID-19 reopening information

Current status

  • C-R released its 2020-21 Reopening Plan on Friday, July 31. 

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo has said an announcement about reopening will be made the first week of August. The rate of COVID-19 infection in our region will determine whether in-person instruction can resume. 

  • The start of the Fall interscholastic sports season has been delayed to at least Sept. 21.

Latest updates

C-R announces 2020-21 Reopening Plan
Posted: Friday, July 31, 2 p.m.

On Friday, July 31, the C-R reopening process took several major steps forward. At a meeting this morning, the C-R Board of Education formally approved our Reopening Plan. Shortly thereafter, we submitted our plan to the state. 


Now, we are pleased to share the Reopening Plan with our entire community. 

2020-21 C-R School Reopening Plan

Please note that the latest version of our plan always be available by using the above link. We fully anticipate the plan will evolve in the coming weeks, as new state guidance becomes available. To ensure that all members of the community always have access to the latest version, the plan is only available on our website.

Although the submission of our plan to the state was a key step, it does not mean our work is done. In fact, in many ways, this simply marks the beginning of a new phase.

With that in mind, here are our next steps:

  • The Reopening Plan outlines, in general terms, what school will look like in September. Now, reopening committees at each of our four buildings will be working hard to determine how we will accomplish the objectives laid out in our plan. We will continue to update you on this progress throughout August.

  • Your feedback and questions will continue to be critically important. In the next few weeks, we’ll be scheduling virtual town-hall sessions during which families can comment and ask questions. We also will be compiling a document of the most frequently asked questions (and our answers), which will be shared with the community. Also, you are welcome to comment or ask questions at any time using the information@crcsd.org email address.  

  • In about a week, you will receive an email asking you to choose whether your students intend to return for onsite instruction, or whether they instead will participate in remote learning. Also, you will be asked whether you will be utilizing district-provided transportation. Knowing this information will allow us to begin assigning classes and forming bus routes.

We thank all of our families for your continued patience. We know everyone is eager to learn what awaits in September. Though we can’t yet answer every question about how the school year will unfold, we move forward grateful for your support and your confidence in our planning process. 


Reopening plan nears completion
Posted: Friday, July 24, 3:30 p.m.

The general framework of Cobleskill-Richmondville’s plans for the upcoming school year began to take shape during this past week’s two meetings of the district’s Reopening Task Force.


Radez, Ryder and Golding: Students would attend school five days a week, in “cohorts,” or groups smaller than traditional classes. For Golding students, this marks a change from earlier drafts of the plan, which had middle school students attending in-person only a few days a week. Having Grades 6-8 in school five days a week would put C-R in line with our partner districts in the Capital Region BOCES, most of which are planning for full-time in-person instruction for middle school students.


C-R High School: Students would attend school on an alternating-day cycle and engage in remote learning from home on the other days. A reopening sub-committee at the high school is discussing how best to arrange a schedule that blends both online and in-person instruction for students in grades 9 through 12.


A framework of the district’s plan must be submitted to the state by Friday, July 31. The plan submitted to the state will be shared on the district website. However, given the constantly changing rate of COVID-19 infection and the ongoing clarification of state regulations, it’s important to note that the plan will evolve continuously, even after it has been submitted to the state. 


Also, at this time the district is submitting only a general framework for reopening. Each school will be using the framework to form more specific policies and procedures in August. We will continue to update families throughout August as those plans take shape.


This week’s key developments


  • Because of the uncertainty and complexity of planning for the upcoming school year, class and bus assignments will not be available until later this summer. In the coming weeks, we will be asking parents whether their children will be attending school in person and whether they will be relying on district transportation. That information will be used to plan for class assignments and bus routes. 


  • Prior to the start of school, the district will offer orientation programs for both parents and students regarding reopening. Much more information on how and when these sessions will take place will be available as the school year approaches.


  • Online instruction provided by the district will be available for medically vulnerable individuals as well as high-risk groups, quarantined individuals, and students whose parents choose not to send them to school. By late August, the district expects to have 1,200 Chromebooks that can be distributed to students to assist with online learning. Our technology department is in the process of building a survey to assess the needs our families have for Internet connectivity and devices.  


  • The meeting included a robust discussion of the district’s policies toward the wearing of masks by both teachers and students. The state Department of Education and Department of Health regulations require that students wear masks whenever social distancing is not possible and strongly recommend that students wear masks at all times. C-R is in the process of drafting its own policy regarding masks, which will be outlined in the plan submitted to the state. 


Next step


  • The Reopening Task Force meets again Tuesday, July 28, for a review of the full reopening plan. We also are building pages on the district website where parents and community members can view more specific details of the plan. 

C-R parents: Take our reopening survey
Posted: July 17, 2 p.m.

We want to hear from you! As our district’s Reopening Task Force continues planning for the upcoming school year, we are requesting your feedback and input to help guide our work.


Here’s what you need to know ...


  • Our survey is being distributed via email to parents of all enrolled students at Cobleskill-Richmondville. There’s also a link to the survey on our website and Facebook page.


  • The survey takes approximately 3-5 minutes to complete. It can be taken anytime between now and midnight on Thursday, July 23.


  • Each individual’s responses are anonymous, but the collective data will help inform the Task Force as it considers various options for the 2020-21 academic year.


  • Because the survey asks about students’ experiences and expectations, it should be taken multiple times if you have several children enrolled in the district. In other words, if you have two children enrolled in the district, please take the survey twice -- once from the perspective of one child and again from the other’s. 


To take the survey, please CLICK HERE.


Reminders about taking the survey will follow next through a phone call and text message from the district. 


Fall sports season delayed
Posted: July 16, 2 p.m.

The Fall sports season will be delayed until at least Sept. 21, and all Fall regional and state championships have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Thursday, July 16. 


NYSPHSAA also announced that it will begin planning for a condensed Fall season that would be played in Winter/Spring 2021 in the event it is not possible to hold athletic events in 2020.


The fall sports season had been scheduled to begin Aug. 24.


More information, including tentative dates for fall, winter and spring sports, can be found on the NYSPHSAA website.

ryderReopening planning continues amid new state guidance
Posted: July 15, 10 a.m.


With guidance from the NYS Departments of Education and Health now in hand, the Cobleskill-Richmondville Reopening Task Force held its second meeting on Tuesday, July 14, to discuss how the district will formulate a reopening plan that meets state requirements.


The meeting took place one day after state officials provided more clarity on the regulations that will govern how and when schools can reopen. 


State developments


  • Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that districts in regions that are in Phase 4 of the statewide reopening process and where the daily infection rates are below 5 percent will be allowed to open for in-person instruction. The Governor will announce which regions meet those criteria the first week of August. More information is available on the Governor’s website.


  • The state Department of Education released a slideshow that offers a general “framework of guidance” for school reopenings. More information is available on the DOE website.


  • The state Department of Health issued much more specific instructions to districts regarding health screenings, social distancing, mask wearing and much more. The 23-page document can be found on the Department of Health website. The C-R Task Force will review the document and interpret what the specific requirements will mean for our return to school. We will share our interpretations with families in the next week.


District planning


By July 31, the district is required to submit to the state a broad outline of its reopening plans for each school. Once those plans are submitted, the Reopening Task Force will work with a sub-committee at each building to flesh out the details and logistics of each school’s plan.


It is also important to note that C-R will work closely with its regional partners in the Capital District BOCES in developing reopening plans. Though specifics of reopening will vary from district to district and school to school, it’s clear that there will be common themes, including:


  • Each school will actually have three plans: a plan for a full reopening; a plan for a “hybrid model,” in which students are in school part-time and learning from home at other times; a plan in which buildings remain closed and students receive online instruction only. The rate of COVID-19 infection in our region will determine which plan will be implemented. It’s entirely possible that the district will use more than one plan at different times during the 2020-21 school year.


  • Although we believe it is important to have as many students receiving in-person instruction as possible, the health and safety of the community continues to be the No. 1 priority. At each step of this process, we will ask ourselves: Is this safe? If the answer is no, we will not move forward.


  • If C-R is able to open for in-person instruction under a “hybrid model,” every effort will be made to have all students in grades K-5, as well as our highest-need students across all grade levels, in school five days a week. To accomplish this while meeting social-distancing regulations, elementary students may be divided into classes and then further subdivided into smaller groups that are together at all times, with limited contact with other groups. This will require significant logistical considerations to be made in the coming weeks.


Key questions  


Clearly, each model raises many questions that will need to be addressed before September. For now, though, we would like to share a few key questions from community members.


Q: Who is on the C-R Reopening Task Force?

A: The Task Force includes representatives from many areas of our staff as well as parents, students, and community partners. A full list of committee members can be found by CLICKING HERE.


Q: Will my child need to wear a mask?

A: The state Department of Health guidelines mandate mask-wearing whenever social distancing cannot be maintained and in all common areas, including hallways, entrances and exits. In fact, the DOH highly recommends mask-wearing at all times. Students would be allowed to remove face-coverings during meals, when receiving instruction, and for short breaks, so long as social-distancing is in place, and students who are medically unable to tolerate a face-covering would be excluded from mask-wearing requirements. The district will continue to monitor state guidance for further clarity regarding mask-wearing.


Q: I’m not comfortable sending my child to school. Can my student receive instruction from the district online?

A: We recognize that, for a number of reasons, some families may decide not to return their children to in-person schooling. As our discussions move forward, we will explore alternate pathways, such as remote instruction, for students who either cannot or chose not to attend school in person.    


Next steps


The district is in the final stages of developing a survey for parents about their experiences with remote learning this past spring and their opinions on reopening this fall. The survey will be posted on the district website and emailed to families within the next week.


The Reopening Task Force will meet again Friday, July 17, to discuss the guidance from the state Department of Health and how we will meet those requirements at each of our four schools.


C-R Reopening Task Force Begins Planning for Fall
Posted: July 8, 11 a.m.


Cobleskill-Richmondville’s planning for a potential return to school this fall moved forward Tuesday, July 7, with the first meeting of the district’s Reopening Task Force.

The task force -- a team of more than 25 members that includes administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, parents, students and other community stakeholders -- will undertake the complex process of developing guidelines for the next academic year in the face of many uncertainties. 

“We understand there is considerable anxiety about what school may look like come September," said Carl J. Mummenthey, Superintendent of Schools. "Although we do not yet have all the answers, we move forward guided by our core values and with the knowledge that protecting our school community’s health and safety has been -- and remains -- our highest priority.” 

It will be the district’s goal to make the re-opening process as transparent as possible, with updates about the task force's progress regularly emailed to families and posted on the district’s website.

The context


The task force's work begins against the backdrop of rising COVID-19 cases nationwide -- though not locally -- and much uncertainty about what federal, state and local regulations will look like in the coming months. 

There are several key uncertainties remaining:

- Most notably, Governor Andrew Cuomo has not said whether students will be permitted to physically return to schools this fall. An announcement is expected the first week of August.

- School districts statewide have been asked to submit reopening plans to the state by the end of July. However, the state has not yet provided districts with guidance on what health and safety measures will be mandated statewide, should schools reopen. For instance, it is possible the state will place limitations on the number of students permitted on buses and/or in classrooms. Obviously, those types of regulations will play a very important role in the development of C-R’s plans. The Governor has indicated state guidance will be announced Monday, July 13.

First steps 

Even with many questions yet unanswered, C-R believes it is critically important that reopening planning begin now. Some of the initial actions include:

- Developing a survey for staff and families about re-opening. Feedback from our school community will be an integral part of the reopening planning process, and data from the survey will be an important guide as the task force continues its work.

- Developing not just one reopening plan, but several. A full reopening of school, a partial reopening of school wherein students come to school part-time and also “learn from home,” or a full-fledged continuation of remote learning all are possibilities for which C-R will prepare. 

- Studying the re-opening plans of schools in other states and countries as well as working with other districts in our BOCES region.  

- Forming sub-committees at each of our four schools. Although C-R will have a district-wide reopening plan, its implementation likely will vary from building to building, based on the differing needs of each school’s students. The four sub-committees will develop more specific guidelines that address key issues specific to their respective schools.

Moving forward 

The scope of reopening planning is enormous. Our areas of focus include everything from continuity of education to meal service to the social and emotional well-being of our students, staff and families.
 

At its next meeting on Tuesday, July 14, the task force plans to begin drafting guidelines specific to each of those areas. 

State and Federal Resources

Student/Parent Resources