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UPDATED: Changes to plan for return to in-person learning

April 13, 2021


Dear Gates Chili School Community,  

As we shared yesterday, our district leaders have been working to fully understand the implications of the new NYSDOH guidance issued last Friday. Unfortunately, the guidance was a far cry from what we had hoped and advocated for and we are finding ourselves needing to scale back our plan to bring more students back in person.  


The NYS Department of Health has stated that school districts that fall within a region where COVID-19 infection rates are greater than 100 people per 100,000 residents, must continue to adhere to the six-foot rule on distancing at the secondary level. Based on this requirement and the growing infection rates in our region, Gates Chili must postpone the move to four-day-per-week learning for our secondary-level students in grades 6-12.  


We are still on target to have UPK students at Armstrong and Imagination Childcare Academy return four days per week beginning on Monday, April 19. Students in grades K-5 are also on target to return four days per week beginning Thursday, April 22, with Monday, April 19 through Wednesday, April 21 being fully remote days for those students.  


Secondary-level students in grades 6-12 will attend school using our current hybrid model until our region can move to and remain below the minimum infection rate ordered by the state health department in accordance with the CDC’s red zone designation. This means students in grades 6-12 should report on their assigned hybrid day on Monday, April 19 and/or Tuesday, April 20. Wednesday, April 21 will be a remote day for these students as well. 


We realize this is quite a shift from what we shared last week and that this is difficult news for many of our students and families. We share your frustration with the circumstances and are working to find ways to bring more of our secondary level learners back to more in-person instruction.  


We will be hosting a virtual community forum this Thursday, April 15 to address the return to in-person learning for students in grades UPK-5. We will share a link to that live presentation tomorrow in our weekly COVID-19 email.  


Once again, I thank you for your patience and continued support. We will continue to do everything in our power to provide a safe learning environment for all our learners. In the meantime, please be vigilant about social distancing, mask-wearing and handwashing.  


Go Spartans!

Christopher J. Dailey
Superintendent of Schools


To read the previous email referenced below, see below. 

April 7, 2021

Dear Gates Chili Families,


I want to begin by sharing that even though we are still waiting for updated social distancing guidelines, we are planning for a return of more in-person learners this month. We previously shared that we were aiming for April 19 as our new return date.


After careful consideration, we are shifting our start date by a few days in order to give staff enough time to prepare our buildings. Our updated plan for the week of April 19 is as follows:


Monday, April 19: Teachers and staff report; asynchronous remote day for students

Tuesday, April 20: Teachers and staff report; asynchronous remote day for students

Wednesday, April 21: Asynchronous remote day for teachers and students

Thursday, April 22: In-person students and staff report; synchronous remote day for all others

Friday, April 23: In-person students and staff report; synchronous remote day for all others


Every Wednesday thereafter will continue to be an asynchronous remote day for teachers and students.


As we have mentioned before, this is all still largely dependent upon the New York State Department of Health releasing new health and safety guidelines.


In accordance with recent CDC guidelines, Gates Chili is planning to implement an in-person instruction model that will feature at least three (3) feet of distance between students in classrooms. In addition to the ongoing use of masks whenever students are not eating, each student desk and cafeteria seat will be outfitted with a plastic barrier.


We are hoping to learn more about the anticipated guidelines in the next few days. When we do, we will host a live community forum to answer any remaining questions and clarify any new requirements. Look out for an email about that either late this week or early next week.  



Again, we will continue to keep you updated and plan for a live virtual community forum next week. We’ll share those details via email, phone call, social media and website.


Go Spartans!

Christopher J. Dailey
Superintendent of Schools