Local superintendent reacts to CDC announcement for reopening schools


HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) — This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said schools can reopen with the correct safety measures. On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci appearing on MSNBC saying he agreed with the CDC’s reopening plan.

“I would back the CDC recommendations because that is really based on data,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “It’s less likely for a child to get infected in the school setting than if they were just in the community.”

One New York school district superintendent said the new safety guidelines for reopening, is nothing new for New York.

“Masking, social distancing, and de-densification of classrooms and property which is in absolute alignment with what the governor of New York State has put in place,” said Tom Douglas, Superintendent of the Horseheads Central School District. “And all school districts, especially larger ones, have actively done so since the beginning of the year. So there’s really no chance, we are in person. Some are still remote, some are coming back from remote.”

Superintendent Douglas said larger schools are at a disadvantage with the CDC’s guidelines.

“They either don’t have the space, or either do not have the staffing to meet all those requirements,” Douglas said. “We agree, we want the kids back, we also agree that the kids are back just that they’re in the hybrid format.”

He also said allowing more students for in-person, makes for bigger classes but following social distancing guidelines, there’s not enough space. With Governor Andrew Cuomo’s safety guidelines, it prevents more students from being able to come back.

“We all look forward that day, to have five days a week,” Douglas said. “All kids in-person, even if it is with masks because that would be better education than what everybody is trying to impart to all their students right now, the best they can do.”

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