NewsChannel 9’s Back to School: COVID and the Classroom

Back to School

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With districts reopening over the next two weeks, students and parents are still trying to understand exactly what their schools will look like during the pandemic.

Four of Central New York’s best-known superintendents joined NewsChannel 9 for 90 minutes of questions and answers:

  • Jaime Alicea — Superintendent of The Syracuse City School District
  • Dr. Donna DeSiato — Superintendent of the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District
  • Mark Potter — Superintendent of the Liverpool Central School District
  • Tom Colabufo — Superintendent of the Central Square School District

For the first time, after having met with Onondaga County health commissioner hours before, DeSiato explained the process if a student who was in class later tests positive for coronavirus.

As it has throughout the pandemic, the Onondaga County Health Department will contact the people who may have been exposed to the virus and track the student’s whereabouts, supported by class lists and other records kept by the district.

There may be no notice of positive coronavirus cases beyond the people immediately impacted.

Colafufo says he’s been told throughout the process by the health departments that cover his district that communication is entirely up to the county government.

Alicea, whose district is teaching students virtually for the first month of the school year, says new systems have been implemented to make remote learning better for both the student and the teacher.

The superintendents discussed dozens of topics, ranging from cleaning classrooms to training teachers to athletics and fine arts and seemingly everything parents and students could be wondering about before heading back to school.

For more information from SUNY Upstate Medical University on in-person learning, click here.


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