HCS Reopening Plan

Greetings to the HCS Community,

I hope that each of you is faring well and enjoying the beautiful summer weather (minus the recent rain)!

Once again, a summer like no other in public education… The contextualization of COVID-19 on our lives, public education and the world has continued to consume our thoughts, energy and time since students last attended school in June.  A few months have now passed, and the grave and urgent context for launching this school year within a model of 100% in person learning for all students has been omnipresent.  As such, planning and preparation for the HCS Reopening in September has been at the forefront of thinking and action all of July and continues to be as we now approach late August.  

As the Honeoye Central School District prepares to launch the 2021-22 school year, our primary objective is to best serve and meet the needs of ALL students within a model of 100% in person learning. On behalf of the faculty and staff at HCS, none of us could be more excited to welcome our PreK-12 students back to school within a more traditional model of instruction.  While we recognize that the provisions encompassed within the HCS Reopening Plan will yield a continuum of responses, it is our sincerest hope that we may continue to unite in partnership with our community and to carry on the rich tradition of PRIDE, UNITY and SPIRIT as Bulldogs.

As I shared with you earlier this month, the Honeoye Central School District, along with the superintendents from each school district in Ontario County, have worked alongside the Ontario County Administration and Public Health as well as with legal teams and school physicians to our draft reopening plans. The HCS Reopening Plan embodies the totality of information at our purview, including recommendations for reopening from the following authorities and agencies:
  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • State Education Department (SED)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
  • Utica National Insurance Group
HCS Model of Reopening for FALL 2021:  100% in-person Learning  
The HCS Reopening model entails implementation of 100% in person instructional programming for all PreK-12 students with adherence to CDC and SED guidelines: universal indoor masking, physical distancing, layered transmission mitigation strategies, and health & safety related protocols.  There is no option for virtual instruction at HCS.  

It is important to note that our incoming Governor, Kathy Hochul, has indicated that when she becomes governor, she expects the state Department of Health (DOH) to require that everyone in public school wear masks. "I believe that we’ll need mask mandates for children to go back to school. And that will have to be universal. It will be statewide," Lt. Gov. Hochul told reporters in a school cafeteria in Corona, Queens.

HCS Reopening Plan for Fall 2021
During a Regular Meeting of the Board last night, the Board of Education unanimously approved the attached HCS Reopening Plan for the 2021-22 school year.  It is with great hopefulness that the district shares our reopening plan with the HCS community at this time.     As you review the HCS Reopening Plan, please note the following:
  • More Info to Come... Mrs. Klaehn and Mrs. Pfluke are drafting extension documents at this time to address nuances of plan application and safety protocols specific to each of our buildings.  Thank you for your patience as they navigate and attempt to address the "day to day" concerns and questions that may arise with implementation of the reopening plan.  It is expected that the Elementary and Secondary Reopening Extension documents will be forthcoming to families soon.
  •  Save the Date! While the HCS Reopening Plan is comprehensive in nature, we anticipate that there will be numerous questions relative to the provisions of the plan.  As such, members of our COVID-19 Safety Coordination Team (instructional and operational leadership) will be available to respond to questions from families and students during voluntary, virtual Town Hall Meetings scheduled for Thursday, August 26. The Elementary Town Hall is scheduled from 6:00 - 7:00 and the Secondary Town Hall is scheduled from 7:00 - 8:00.  In the event that there are a substantial number of questions/concerns which we are unable to respond to due to time constraints, we will schedule an additional K-12 Town Hall. It is our commitment to be responsive and available to the HCS community as we work together to launch a successful year for our students. Access information for our Town Hall Meeting via Google Meet will be shared with the HCS community early next week. 
  • Questions? Upon review of the Reopening Plan and building level extension documents (forthcoming), should you have any questions please direct them to your building principals as applicable (aklaehn@honeoye.org or natalie.pfluke@honeoye.org) or to me (bridget.ashton@honeoye.org).  We will compile your questions and generate a Question and Answer capture document that will be shared with the HCS community.
  • Flexibility is Key! As with every reopening plan being developed by school districts across New York State, this document is fluid and will change as necessary based on guidance from CDC, NYSDOH, NYSED and/or Ontario County or by Executive Order from the state. Fingers crossed that any shifting in our plan is due to movement in the positive direction relative to COVID!
On behalf of the Honeoye Central School District, thank you for your patience and for the ongoing support and partnership in advocacy for all HCS students. As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns about the information included in this communication, or otherwise.

Warmest regards,
E. Bridget Ashton

Elizabeth Bridget Ashton
Superintendent, Honeoye Central School District
8528 Main Street
Honeoye, New York 14471
On Twitter: @EBridgetAshton