Tentative date set for Utica students to return to the classroom

The Utica School District's Board of Education voted to set a tentative start date for hybrid learning.

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 10:40 PM
Updated: Sep 23, 2020 9:11 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - The Utica School District's Board of Education voted to set a tentative start date for hybrid learning.

At the board meeting on Tuesday night, the board decided to start phase one of their original reopening plan the first week in November.

Phyllis Ellis, the director of the Oneida County Health Department, attended the meeting to answer questions regarding health and safety concerns parents, teachers, and members of the BOE had about students returning to the classroom.

"I don't want you going home tonight thinking that whatever you do, open, not open, hybrid, in-person, that you're not going to have a case," Ellis said. "You have no control over that. The only control you have is what you can do according to those guidelines to assure you're doing everything that's required for your school."

Ellis spoke about what the health department will do if there is a positive case. She says they will treat it the same as all of the cases, meaning an investigation and contact tracing.

Ellis says it's up to the district to decide what to do regarding closing the school over a positive case. She also says the district has to be involved in communicating a positive case to families and staff members.

District superintendent, Bruce Karam, says the board will discuss the next steps for switching to a hybrid model at the next board meeting in October.

The board made it clear that parents will have the option for their kids to remain virtual.

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