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Why Did Superintendent Alicea Decide Syracuse Schools would Operate Remotely to Start Off 2021?

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Syracuse City Schools website
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Students and parents of Syracuse City Schools may have wished for a return to in-person learning in 2021 after the holiday break, but spiking COVID-19 cases during the break is keeping learning remote.  The Superintendent says 140 positive cases were confirmed during the break, plus 200 staff and students were in quarantine. 

Jaime Alicea says remote learning was the only option to stave off the virus from spreading further in the community and schools.

“It’s something that our staff and students have done and their families,  so we wanted to continue to provide the education to our students but, we wanted to do it a positive and safe environment.”

There were also staffing shortage concerns this week with 150 staff members either COVID-19 positive or having to quarantine.  Alicea says there’s only so many substitute teachers to share between the city and other area schools.  He plans to continue to monitor testing data to determine when it’s safe to have at least some in-person learning, again. 

“We’re looking at all the numbers (COVID-19 positivity rates) on a daily basis, I’m looking for the schools but, I’m also looking at the numbers in the county.”

Alicea says the plan is to have students return to school buildings on January 19th for in-person instruction.  At that time, 20 percent of students and staff will be tested to monitor the COVID-19 positivity rate for the virus to confirm it doesn’t spike.   To view the SCSD COVID-19 information page including testing sites, questions about learning, digital tools and resoruces, hybrid meal service and health and safety, click here.