Great Neck Public Schools
SCHOOL REOPENING 2020-2021
Update from the Superintendent
August 5, 2020
Dear GNPS Community:
I hope this message finds you and your family safe following Tropical Storm Isaias. I know many of our community members are dealing with power outages and downed trees, and I wish everyone a quick recovery and clean-up from the storm.
As promised, I’m writing to provide an update about our 2020-21 Reopening Plan, which I submitted to the State last Friday. While there’s still considerable uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and its impact on the coming school year, our plan intends to ensure that our students, families, faculty and staff feel safe and comfortable as we return to learning in September.
The entire GNPS Reopening Plan is available on our website. The 42-page document outlines considerations for the safe and effective delivery of instruction in three scenarios: in-school instruction, a hybrid model, and remote instruction. The plan also provides detailed information on health and safety measures, building practices, child nutrition, transportation, technology and connectivity, special education, ENL, and the social-emotional and mental health needs of our school community.
Based on current guidance and criteria from State officials, we still anticipate reopening our school buildings as I’ve outlined in previous updates. However, our plan is dependent upon recommendations from education and health officials, and it may be revised in the weeks and months ahead based on new directives from the Governor, New York State Education Department (SED), and New York State Department of Health (DOH). Governor Cuomo has indicated that he’ll make a decision about reopening schools later this week.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100 individuals who served on our School Reopening Advisory Committee and its five subcommittees, including administrators, faculty, staff, parents/guardians, health professionals, law enforcement, and Board of Education trustees. I am grateful for their time, ideas, and recommendations. Members reviewed guidance from education and health officials, shared data from surveys conducted within our community, and discussed a variety of possible solutions for issues that schools have never even had to consider before. As a result of their contributions, our district has a comprehensive plan that we believe presents the best options for our school community.
I've heard from many parents and staff members over the past week regarding our reopening plan. Some expressed their appreciation, others shared concerns, and almost everyone has questions. I recognize that there are many different opinions on the reopening of schools, and those differing opinions are shared by our parents, faculty and staff as well. Our plan aims to accommodate the needs of our entire school community as we move toward a return to teaching and learning for all.
As I stated in my last update on July 29, parents who want their child(ren) to receive exclusive remote learning in September must fill out this remote learning form no later than 3 p.m. today. Parents who select the exclusive remote learning option will be contacted by the district in November with an opportunity for their child to return to in-school instruction in January (after the winter break), or to continue remote learning.
As a reminder, an in-depth presentation about our plan will take place during the Board of Education meeting on August 19 at 8 p.m. via live stream. Questions may be submitted via a link posted on the district homepage beginning this Friday, August 7 through Friday, August 14.
The first day of school is approximately four weeks away. As we’ve witnessed over the past few months, a lot can change in that amount of time. We’re doing everything we can to prepare for a safe return to learning in September. No matter what happens, we remain firm in our commitment to delivering an outstanding educational program for all students while being flexible enough to meet the challenges that come our way.
We’ll continue to monitor developments and share updates so we can all prepare for the start of another successful school year. Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and most importantly, partnership. We all want what’s best for our students, families, faculty and staff, and we appreciate your support during these challenging times.
Dr. Teresa Prendergast
Superintendent of Schools
Information & Resources
Great Neck school officials will continue to abide by all guidance provided by the Governor's Office, the New York State Education Department (NYSED), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Nassau County Department of Health (DOH), and the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Information and guidance from these sources remain fluid, and the District will provide updates to our school community as they become available.