Lawrence Onward

September 2020 Update

New York State Guidance Given Thursday July 16

This newsletter summarizes the 145 page document provided as guidance to schools to plan for September instruction. Lawrence will be finalizing a plan for our learners by July 31. The Governor has announced he will make a determination on school’s ability to open by August 7th. Plans for in-person and remote instruction are being developed. A very likely hybrid model which combines the two is also the focus of our work. Thank you for your patience and support at this time. Please email with any questions.

Health and Safety

No one with signs or symptoms should enter the school buildings. Lawrence is required to perform health checks and screenings to recognize signs and symptoms of illness in students and staff. In the schools social distancing will be maximized and masks must be worn. Our nurse’s offices will now include areas to isolate ill persons until they can be sent home. Signs and lessons for proper hand and respiratory hygiene will focus on lessening the spread of germs. Cleaning and disinfection materials are ordered and staff is being trained on procedures.


Our new grade configuration expands the physical footprint. We will look at any value to changing the way space is used ( for example the cafeteria ) but will be limiting large gatherings. Our architect and Director of Facilities Schools continue to consult on ventilation and filtration.

Lawrence must continue to conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills. These drills now must be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.


All students will continue to access school meals each school day whether school is in-person or remote in compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements. During these times to limit contact and stay safest, plans are being developed to eat meals in small groups in the classroom.


School buses are another space in which social distancing on the bus, at stops, and at unloading times must occur. As we look at transportation services we will use the lens of equity for all students.

Social Emotional Well Being

Intentional and meaningful social emotional learning (SEL) is critical to support the well-being and success of students, staff, and families. Along with physical health and well-being, Lawrence has, and will continue to prioritize social emotional well-being – not at the expense of academics, but in addition.

School Schedules

All plans will be clearly communicat­ed, with as much advance notice as practicable, to students, families and staff.

To adhere to state and local health and safety guidelines and ensure social distancing practices, various reopening plans and schedules that stagger or alternate stu­dents’ return to campus are in the state guidance. Lawrence is collaborating through the Safety Team comprised of all district stakeholders to consider the best alternate schedules.

Teaching and Learning

To allow for schools and districts to adapt to complications caused by the pandemic, certain flexi­bilities have be authorized. This is not a change to the academic standards we have for our learners.

Special Education

Lawrence will prioritize in-person services for high-needs students and preschool students with disabilities whenever possible along with contingency plans devel­oped by the CPSE/CSE to address remote learning needs in the event of intermittent or extended school closures.

Bilingual Education

ELL identification for all students who enrolled during COVID-related school closures in 2019-20, during the summer of 2020, and during the first 20 days of the 2020-21 school year will be conducted within 30 days of the start of the school year. Our robust bilingual program will continue to meet state mandates for the success of our English Language Learners.

In Summary

The various headings in this newsletter address the areas of NYSED guidance to school districts. The schedules for the year can be announced once we have direction from the Governor. Health and safety must be in place to allow learning to take place. Should a hybrid model, in which student groups alternate between live instruction in school and remote instruction be used, the district will announce those schedules as soon as possible.