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ESM School Reopening

Preparing to reopen for the 2020-21 school year in this new learning environment with protocols and practices for the health and safety of all is our highest priority. We developed a reopening plan focused on student learning and in adherence to guidance provided by the NYS Department of Health, the Executive Office of the Governor and the NYS Education Department.

Updated Information on COVID-19: Visit our designated page for updated ESM information and resources on COVID-19.  

Phase-In Schedule for In-Person Learning: View which students will be attending each day Sept. 17-24 as the district phases in the grade levels.

Frequently Asked Questions: View our Frequently Asked Questions page, which highlights the most common parent/guardian questions as well as those addressed during parent meetings. 

Students/In-Person Learners Need a Daily Health Pass: ESM requires families to complete a daily paper screening form that must be signed by the parent or guardian. Students will then give the form to school personnel prior to boarding the bus or entering school. Parents MUST complete and sign a screening pass
each day for their child to board the bus or enter school. Paper screening forms are being mailed Sept. 9 to each family for use on the first day of in-person instruction. If you need additional forms, you can print this PDF Health Screening Pass or contact your child’s school at 315-434-3000. After the first day of in-person instruction, your child will be sent home with a pre-printed pad of forms to use each day.

These forms will function as a “health pass”
based on guidance from the NYS Education Department and the NYS Department of Health. Parents are responsible for ensuring their child is healthy and can attend school each day. Specific expectations include screening children for COVID-19 symptoms (which includes temperature taking), as well other COVID-19 screening questions.

FREE Breakfast/Lunch for In-Person & Distance Learners: ESM has been notified that the free meal program providing breakfast and lunch for ALL children 18 and younger will continue through the 20-21 school year. Meals will be free for all of ESM’s in-person learners on the days they are at school. For the days students are not in school, families can pick up free “grab & go” meals Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at their choice of three sites — ESM Central High School, Minoa Elementary or East Syracuse Elementary from 9-10 a.m. Further details & how to sign up for grab & go meals.

Our ESM Reopening of School Plan — Stronger Together  FULL PLAN with amendments approved April 19, 2021 to increase in-person learning as developed by a District Advisory Committee of more than 150 stakeholders who shared their time, expertise and perspectives. More than 7,000 students, parents and staff members provided feedback and input through multiple surveys/questionnaires conducted in June and July. The plan recognizes the need for flexibility to address circumstances likely to change in the weeks, months and year ahead. 

Based on parent and staff questionnaires/feedback, the ESM Plan:
  • Provides live, interactive distance learning with a planned schedule 5 days per week for all families who have requested this learning model. 
  • Provides in-person instruction 5 days a week for families who would prefer this option. If the capacity for in-person learning is exceeded, a hybrid alternative (2 days in-person/3 days distance learning) will be implemented. (Please note: if we must implement the hybrid model, families that choose ALL distance learning will still continue with distance learning 5 days a week.)
Families with more than one child, may choose different options to best fit each child’s learning needs.

Staff, students and parents must learn new, mandated health and safety requirements to successfully start the school year. Therefore, the district has designed a phased-in, gradual implementation plan that meets these requirements, and also develops teacher-student and home-school relationships.

All students will begin the opening of school with virtual learning and then transition to their preferred learning model.

ESM produced a video (link) to help families decide. This video shows ESM examples of bus and classroom spacing and use of masks. 

ESM Reopening of School Plan — Stronger Together Virtual Parent/Guardian Meetings: ESM held three virtual meetings for parents/guardians to answer questions and address concerns about school reopening. In a follow-up email, we will share further information on how to connect to these virtual meetings.