Dear parents and community members,

The NY State Education Department (SED) has announced it will be providing health guidance for school reopening no later than next week.

“This document will be based on Center[s] for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics,” SED officials said in a memo sent to superintendents and principals yesterday morning.

Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said she anticipates the guidance will address common questions regarding:

  • Masks.
  • Physical distancing.
  • Transportation.
  • Community transmission tracking.
  • Potential funding sources.

Rosa said that department officials will be “consulting with a diverse group of state and local stakeholders to gain insight on the issues that are most relevant at this time.”

Rosa acknowledged that SED is not the ideal state agency to issue such a guidance. “This is necessary in light of the continued absence of health-related school opening direction and assistance from the governor’s office and the state Department of Health,” she wrote.

After Rosa sent the memo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his plan to leave office in two weeks. That announcement is not expected to alter SED’s plan to issue the advisory.

It is our goal at Berlin CSD to provide in-person instruction everyday for all our students in the coming school year, and at the same time provide a learning environment that keeps our students and staff safe and healthy at all times.

We realize that these are challenging times for our families and we ask that you please remain patient with us, as we work with the department of health and other school districts across the region to make sure we move forward in the safest way possible.

To this extent the district is holding reopening committee meetings and community forums to obtain feedback from the community.

The community forums will be held in-person on Wednesday, August 18th and Wednesday, August 25th both at the BMHS Library from 7-8 p.m. Please find the zoom links for the meetings here.

As the information that we receive gets updated, we will communicate the same to you.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.


Joseph Dhara
Superintendent of Schools
Berlin Central School District