Reopening Plan

Table of Contents

Health & Safety | Facilities | Food Services | Transportation | School Operations |
Social Emotional Well-Being | Instruction | Staff | Communication/Family and Community Engagement

The administration, faculty and staff of the Greater Johnstown School District are committed to providing our students a safe and healthy environment in which they can learn, grow and thrive.  The following pages contain resources for our school community to direct our journey from school closure.

Dr. Karen Geelan
Interim Superintendent of Schools

Introduction

On Monday, July 13, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region.

Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close.

While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the district is also planning for remote/distance learning as well as for a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and distance learning.

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Greater Johnstown School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools:

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and distance learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our schools.

Assistant Superintendent Ruthie Cook will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Mrs. Cook will work closely with the Fulton County Public Health Department and will be responsible for the coordination of school community pandemic recovery efforts. She will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. Inquiries and concerns can be directed to Mrs. Cook by calling (518) 762-4611 or by emailing her at rcook@johnstownschools.org.

Although we have discussed and planned for a number of areas and contingencies, we know this plan will change. Our plan will be amended as conditions evolve in our greater community. Our thanks to the members of the GJSD Phase III: School Reopening Committee and all the contributors to our plan:

  • Ruthie Cook, Assistant Superintendent
  • Cory Cotter, Pleasant Avenue Principal
  • Cyndi Cromer, Teacher
  • Stephanie Ellsworth, RN
  • Karen Geelan, Superintendent
  • Scott Hale, JJSHS Principal; JAA President
  • Suzy Hall, Executive Secretary
  • Laurel Headwell, Fulton County Public Health
  • Meghan Heroth, JEPTA President
  • Rachel Heroth, Director of Technology
  • Jeff Kolakowski, Teacher
  • Robert Kraemer, Warren Street Principal
  • Christina Lais, JJSHS Assistant Principal
  • Nikki Lent, Director of Special Education
  • Nancy Lisicki, JTA President
  • Judy Loucks, CSEA President
  • Nicole Panton, Director of Curriculum and PD
  • Tracy Ringer, Teacher
  • Judy Swatt, Teacher
  • Jamie Tallon, PTSA President
  • Betsy Thomas, COA President
  • Amy Webb, PTSA President
  • David Wood, Director of Facilities

Our gratitude is extended to the many educators and employees who contributed to the GJSD Phase II planning throughout the spring and summer of 2020. Your expertise and thoughtful contributions have guided the contents of our reopening plan. As always, we accomplish more and serve our school community best when we work together.