School reopening plan deadline causing confusion among school districts

Aug 11, 2020

Governor Cuomo announced on Monday that 107 school districts have yet to submit reopening plans to the New York State Department of Health. However, this announcement has caused some confusion among school districts that didn’t even know they were supposed to.

Credit File Photo/Governor's office

Salamanca is just one of nine Western New York school districts that were listed as having not submitted their reopening plans to the Department of Health.

Mark Beehler, Salamanca's Deputy Superintendent said that only after the governor provided that list of schools did he receive a call from the agency about their missing submission.

“After speaking with the Department of Health, we learned that, yes, they wanted the exact same plan on the exact same day,” he said.

Representatives of the Williamsville School District also said they didn’t know they were supposed to submit their plan to both the Department of Education and Department of Health.

However, Cuomo’s senior advisor said schools were provided with “clear guidance” to submit to both agencies. While that may be true, Lewiston-Porter Superintendent Paul Casseri said that he would’ve appreciated a phone call before a public announcement.

“Why do we have to get called out like that and get my community all in a stir,” said Casseri. “The community's already in a stir because parents have to make life changing decisions for their families over this reopening.”

He said his school did submit its reopening plan to the Department of Health, but it still ended up on the list of those that didn’t. The agency did not comment on that particular situation.

Cuomo gave schools until Friday to submit their reopening plans to both agencies.