July 8, 2020: Cuomo sets July 31 deadline for school reopening plans, state decision on reopening coming early August

Governor Andrew Cuomo, at his press briefing today, gave an official timeline for districts to submit school reopening plans and said he will make a decision by early August on whether or not to reopen schools statewide in September.

Cuomo said the state will release finalized reopening guidance for school districts on July 13. School districts will then submit their safety plans for reopening by July 31. 

A state committee has been in talks for weeks about regional variations for school safety plans and to provide reopening guidance to school districts. BKW, one of 700 school districts in New York state,  will submit its local plan to the state by July 31.

The district has a 15-person task force on reopening that has been meeting and reviewing emerging guidance on all aspects of reopening in preparation for this time. We are poised to respond with a flexible and effective plan. 

In June, BKW administered a districtwide online survey asking for parent and staff feedback related to reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year. That feedback is being used to formulate the BKW reopening plan.

Cuomo said New York state will review school district plans the week of August 1-7. The state then will approve, deny, or suggest changes to those plans. Based off of the plans and the most recent health data, a decision to reopen schools to students statewide in September will also be made by the state at that time, he said.

 “I know parents want a decision now, they talk to me too,” Cuomo said. “But we want to make that decision with the best available data. The facts change here day to day, week to week. As we see a week could be a lifetime with this virus.”

BKW Superintendent Dr. Tim Mundell added, “Thank you all for your flexibility and understanding during this very different time period. We will take one day at a time, plan accordingly, and keep the health and safety of students and all staff at the center of all planning a decision, while also following every bit of guidance provided. I will provide you with further information next week as we learn it.”

Governor’s Timeline

  • July 13 – Meeting of the Board of Regents and the issuance of reopening guidance for all New York state schools
  • July 31 – All New York state school districts must submit their plans for reopening in the fall
  • August 1-7 – The Governor will make a decision on reopening based upon most recent health dates and the safety of doing so for students and staff