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Graham: District committed to full reopening when it can 'responsibly, safely, legally do so'

Thu, Mar 11th 2021 11:45 am

Grand Island School Superintendent Brian Graham said the district is aware of the recent resolution adopted by the Grand Island Town Board regarding the district’s educational program. 

He issued the following response to the Town Board’s action:

“The district has been committed to returning to full in-person instruction as soon as we can responsibly, safely and legally do so. Gov. Cuomo, through his legal authority to issue disaster emergency executive orders, established compliance with certain pandemic-related guidance as a specific condition necessary in order for a school district to be open for instruction for the current school year. 

“State Education Department approval of the district’s reopening plan was likewise conditioned on compliance with the mandatory elements of the State Education Department guidance document. The district accordingly is legally required to comply with such guidance and directives, including with respect to social distancing standards, use of masks, and the wide variety of other measures and requirements. The failure of the district to meet its legal obligations and comply with mandatory guidance could result in serious enforcement actions, liability and other adverse consequences.

Accordingly, under the current legal standards, the district cannot operate on a full in-person basis. However, the district will be prepared for the return to full in-person instruction when future modifications to mandatory guidance permit us to do so. 

Meantime, I am tremendously proud of the combined efforts of our students, faculty and staff in the operation of our educational program over the past year in the face of the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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