Reopening School 2020

Maximizing Opportunities for In-Person Learning Reopening Framework

Governor Cuomo, the State Education Department, and Department of Health recently released guidelines for the reopening of schools. School districts are required to submit a plan by July 31 (Shen Reopening Plan for 2020-2021 submitted to state on July 29)

July 2020Title page of reopening framework presentation
Next Steps
  • Wait for Governor Cuomo’s decision on school reopening (to be announced August 1-7)
  • The district will continue to work on the reopening plan as new guidance and regulations are released.
  • While many questions asked are still unknown, the district will create a Q and A to try to address question as things are determined and decided.

This is an extremely fluid process. The framework will be updated regularly as new guidance and regs come out over the coming weeks.


Enrolling in Complete Virtual Option

On July 13,  Governor Cuomo released guidance for reopening schools with students returning to onsite learning in September 2020. The guidance required all schools to submit a plan by July 31.

After garnering feedback from stakeholders, the Shenendehowa plan was submitted to the New York State Education Department (NYSED). The complete plan is posted on the district website:

Key components of the plan include:

    • In-person learning – K-6 students will be onsite daily. 
    • Combination of Inperson and Virtual Learning (Hybrid)– Gr. 7-12 are scheduled to attend in an alternate day schedule model- two days in person block schedule and two days virtual, with the cycle repeating. Due to the large number of students in a single building at the secondary level, this approach is more conducive for social distancing.

  • Complete Virtual Learning (CVL) option – For families who have concerns about their child’s health or impact on a family member with high risk factors (qualified as a COVID-19 Vulnerable Population), they may choose to have their child engage in the Completely Virtual Learning (CVL) Option during COVID. 



For all in-person learning, the number of students in each classroom will be reduced to allow for social distancing. Face coverings/masks for students will be required. Student movement through the school will be limited to reduce student daily exposures.

Are you planning to enroll in the Completely Virtual Learning (CVL) option?

In an effort to solidify plans for the start of school in the fall, the District needs to know who may be interested in enrolling in the CVL option. To enroll your child in Complete Virtual Learning, please fill out the CVL Option Form ( by Friday, August 14, 2020.

Prior to enrolling in the Completely Virtual Learning Option, it is very important that you read the Completely Virtual Learning (CVL) Option (Procedures and Requirements-page 2) carefully. Some key highlights are: 

  • Elementary students (K-5) must be committed for at least a trimester (end of December)
  • Secondary students (6-12) must be committed for at least a semester (end of January)
  • Noted that while a virtual instructional experience will be substantive, it will not be equivalent to an on-site/in-person or hybrid learning experience.
  • Students participating in the entirely virtual learning option must meet all criteria to enroll in Shenendehowa. 

Student Transportation Opt Out

In an effort to solidify plans for the start of school in the fall, the District needs to know who will be opting out of having their child/children ride the school bus. If you do not intend to have your child ride a bus, please complete this opt-out of transportation form ( by Friday, August 14, 2020.

Student transportation will be provided for in-person learning consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines. Some key highlights are:

  • Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus to the extent practicable; however, students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face covering, but must be appropriately socially distanced.
  • All staff members must wear a mask.
  • Members of the same household may be seated with each other. 

Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drive or walk students to school if they are able to inorder to reduce density on buses.