Frequently Asked Questions: SCSD

This page highlights Frequently Asked Questions, based on inquiries or feedback received from our families, staff and community.  Similar questions have been combined in order to make the information more easily available.

If you have a question specific to your child or family circumstances, please reach out to your building principal.

To submit a question, please email

Health and safety/Facilities
Do kids have to quarantine if they travel over spring break? Even If they get a negative test result?

According to the NYS guidelines just released on March 11, there is no longer a requirement to quarantine after domestic travel or test out of quarantine.

PreviousTravel Guidance:
The most current guidelines for travel can be found at the link below. I recommend checking the website below frequently as we get closer to school breaks to ensure the guidance has not changed. Currently, if someone travels outside of NYS for more than 24 hours to a non-contiguous state they either need to test out of quarantine or quarantine for 10 days when they arrive back. To test out of quarantine they need to complete a COVID test within 72 hours before arrival back to NYS. They also need to quarantine for 3 days upon arrival to NYS and get another COVID test on day 4. If both of those tests are negative and the district is provided with the test results you are able to stop quarantining and return to school. If for any reason you are unable to get both tests or provide the district with both negative results you will need to complete a mandatory 10 day quarantine from the date of arrival back to NYS.

Vaccination Questions

School districts across Monroe County have been encouraged to survey their staff to gauge who has received or intends to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. To support that effort, a voluntary Vaccination Survey has been conducted with the following results as of Feb. 9:

 Have you received the COVID-19 vaccination?
  • 30% (165) of staff indicated they have received one dose.
  • 4% (21) have received both doses of the vaccine.
  • 66% (363) indicated they have not received the vaccine.

Do you plan on receiving the COVID-19 vaccination as soon you are able to schedule an appointment?
  • 84% (427) of staff indicated they intend to get the vaccine as soon as an appointment is available.
  • 16% (81) indicated they do not intend to get a vaccine.
If you are planning on receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, do you have a scheduled appointment?
  • 57% (295) have scheduled an appointment
  • 30% (157) do not have an appointment, but plan on receiving the vaccine.
  • 13% (67) do not plan on receiving the vaccine.

After I get a vaccine, will I still have to wear a mask?

In short, yes. The vaccine is mainly aimed at keeping people from getting sick from the virus.The vaccine does not eliminate the ability for someone to be a carrier. So masks and social distancing remain necessary. 

Is the vaccine mandatory?

No. The district encourages everyone to get vaccinated, however it is not a requirement.  

If I get the vaccine, but then subsequently identified as a close contact to a positive case of COVID-19, do I still have to self-quarantine for a prescribed amount of time?

Yes, you will still have to self-quarantine. The vaccine does not provide guaranteed immunity to infection, so any identified close contact will need to self-quarantine.

What is considered a cluster, as referenced by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo?

The governor is defining a cluster as a high concentration of cases in a specific area. It is not simply the number of cases; it is the positivity rate for a certain area.

What is the process that the MCDPH follows to identify close contacts of confirmed positive cases, and what is the rationale for keeping classrooms open?

Contact tracing for a COVID positive individual begins two days prior to the onset of his or her symptoms. The Monroe Department of Public Health defines a close contact to be anyone within 6 feet for 15 consecutive minutes where at least 1 of the 2 people are unmasked. If an individual is asymptomatic (no symptoms) and tests positive, the contact tracing will begin two days prior to the COVID testing.

The reason there has been little risk of exposure in school settings is because of strict adherence to mask wearing and social distancing. So far, in all but one positive case in Monroe County involving a student or school staff member, MCDPH has traced the likely point of exposure to a situation that occurred outside of a school setting. The cases are largely connected to family members, social gatherings and other recreational activities including travel.

Through our mandatory mask wearing policy and social distancing policy we are preventing COVID-19 exposures and contacts during school. It is imperative that we as a community do our part and continue to remain vigilant with our mask wearing, handwashing and social distancing in school and outside of school to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Back to school video tutorials on our protocols and guidelines:

Please be sure to check out our two reopening videos posted on our YouTube channel, with return to school information including social distancing, school bus expectations and protocols, masks and more. The link may be found here,

This YouTube link will also take you to our newest video tutorial posted on how to submit a Daily Health Screening for your student. This process is necessary to complete prior to arrival to school on the days when your student attends in person. The tutorial may be found at this link.

Mask Questions

What are the CDC requirements for wearing masks?

Feb. 2021: CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people. Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

The CDC further updated its guidance in February, 2021, to recommend double-masking and the use of a surgical mask with a tight fit to maximize protection against the virus and its variants.

Previous Questions:

As of Sept. 3,The Monroe County Department of Health and the Finger Lakes Reopening Schools Safely Task Force have issued additional guidance on the types of face coverings that should not be allowed in schools. Face coverings with exhalation valves, gaiters, scarves, and/or bandanas, will no longer be allowed in school for use by employees or students. (pictured below) This rule goes into effect Sept. 3. Disposable masks are available for your use until you can secure suitable face coverings.

 Not allowed: gaitors, pictured  Not allowed: masks with exhalation valves, pictured
 Bandanas, no longer allowed  Scarves used as masks, no longer allowed

SCSD mask break protocols

Face coverings are “strongly recommended” by the New York Department of Health at all times. However, schools can require face coverings at all times, even during instruction.

Spencerport has chosen to require masks, including during instruction, for all students and staff. Exceptions to this include scheduled mask breaks, mealtime, and if a student or staff member has provided appropriate medical documentation.

The Monroe County Department of Health defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of and infected person for at least 15 minutes and one or both of the individuals were not wearing a mask. Therefore, mask breaks need to be short and students must maintain the appropriate social distance during the mask break.

Mask breaks may be provided at the discretion of the teacher or staff member, but the following conditions must occur:

• Students must maintain 6 feet of social distance
• Students should be in their seat and ideally facing the same direction
• Mask break should be limited to approximately 1-2 minutes when not occurring during mealtime
• Students should not be talking during the mask break

Appropriate times for mask breaks include:

• Anytime a student is eating or drinking
• At the beginning or the end of a lesson
• While outside for a class or recess

Can my child be exempted from having to wear a mask?

A: MCDoH recommends all students wear a mask to protect other students, faculty and staff. Exemptions can be granted by primary care physicians, but only for rare, pre-existing conditions. If your child is having difficulty wearing a mask, consult with your primary care physician regarding techniques that will help your child adapt to a mask.

What if another student is exempted from wearing a mask in school?

A: The student must remain at least six feet from others at all times.

Will students wear masks in physical education?

Yes. Students will be required to wear masks during physical education, and they will have the opportunity for mask breaks periodically during the class. PE classes scheduled outside will allow for more flexibly in mask breaks.

Will face shields be permitted in place of face coverings in order to provide a break once seated and socially-distanced?

No. Current guidance is that a face shield is insufficient to protect the wearer from exposure without a proper face covering. Similarly a face shield is considered insufficient to protect others without a suitable face covering. The district is developing plans to offer mask breaks safely throughout the instructional day.

How will wearing masks be enforced?

We are currently updating our code of conduct, and its adoption is pending board approval. The district intends to offer trainings about mask expectations and reinforcement when staff report back to work and in the initial days of a return to school.

We understand the importance of wearing masks and it will require all stakeholders to be diligent in monitoring student and staff behavior. We hope to provide updates on a process to reinforce the code of conduct, and how to go about reporting any violation to an adult so that they can intervene.

Questions on symptoms and COVID positive cases

Do I need to stay home while waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test?
Yes. If you are getting tested because you have or think you have COVID-19 symptoms, have been tested by a medical provider in an attempt to diagnose if you have COVID-19, or you believe you have been exposed to individuals who may be or are COVID-19 positive, you must stay home pending the results of that test.

If you take a discretionary COVID-19 test ahead of a medical appointment/procedure, personal travel, or are directed to take a test for travel in support of a customer, you do not have to stay home awaiting the results. However if you can, it is recommended that you do.


Note: If you were in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, you are required to self-quarantine outside the workplace for 14 days since your last exposure, regardless of testing.

What does an antibody test result tell me?

No test is 100% accurate at this time. Antibody testing checks a sample of a person’s blood to look for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. According to the CDC guidance on test results, a positive antibody test is an indicator that you likely have had a COVID-19 infection. You should ask your healthcare provider for more details on what your specific test indicates.

What does a positive viral test result tell me?

This test identifies whether the virus (antigens) is active in your upper respiratory system, through a nasopharyngeal swab. According to the CDC guidance on test results, if you received a positive viral test result you most likely do have an active COVID-19 infection and can pass the virus to others. You should ask your healthcare provider for more details on what your specific test indicates.

The Monroe County Department of Health released five pages of FAQs.
Below are a few of those commonly asked questions, and the full document may be found at the link above, or here for your convenience.

What is the most important thing for families to remember?
A: Check on your child’s health every morning. Take a temperature reading and look for symptoms of illness before your child leaves for school. Do not send a child who has a fever or who is feeling ill to school. Period. Consult with your health care provider regarding any signs of illness.

What happens when a student (who has seasonal allergies) exhibits a runny nose/cough etc. but does not exhibit any other symptoms?

Based on NYS and MCDOH guidance, when a student presents with symptoms consistent with COVID 19 during a health screen, or when a student presents with symptoms requiring a visit to the nurse office, unless the district has documentation from a provider regarding chronic illness that align to those symptoms, the child must be isolated and sent home. If there is not documentation of a chronic illness and the child is required to be sent home, the child cannot return to school without, at minimum, documentation from a health care provider, a negative COVID-19 test, and symptom resolution.

What happens if a teacher or student tests positive for COVID?

We are fortunate to have a great partnership with the Monroe County Department of Public Health.

If we receive the unfortunate news that a student or staff member has tested positive with COVID19, the Monroe County Department of Health will take the lead on a school district’s response to a positive test. Obviously the district will collaborate with the department of health on contract tracing, quarantine, and isolations effort, but the DOH will respond and perform thorough investigation for the confirmed COVID cases.This includes evaluating each COVID 19 positive result on a case by case basis and providing recommendations to the district regarding a plan of action. Recommendations could include, but are not limited to, the immediate closure of a classroom, school building, or district for 24 hours or more.

The DOH will notify the superintended or designated personnel for all mandatory quarantines for students, staff, and faculty after notifying the individual or family.

What factors will determine going to full remote learning?

This could be the result of an Executive Order from the Governor's office related to the infection rates and/or Department of Health determination.

Will students be allowed to carry hand sanitizers throughout the day?

Yes, students will be allowed to carry hand sanitizer.

Will students use the water fountains, or should students and staff bring reusable water bottles?  

Water fountains are currently being replaced with bottle filler fountains so personal water bottles are recommended.

Operations Questions

Will students be assigned lockers this year?

Not at this time. This decision was made to limit congregation within the hallway and limit touch surfaces. Each building will develop processes to assist students in organizing and carrying their supplies.

lockers will not be used at this time

What steps have you taken to ensure social distancing is maintained in the hallways, especially during class transitions or in high traffic areas?

Floor decals with arrows, bright tape, and distance reminders, along with posters and signage, will be placed throughout our buildings to guide travel patterns and encourage social spacing.

Floor decals for elementary schoolsDirectional arrows on floors

6 feet floor decals for secondary schools
Students demonstrate social spacing

Questions submitted prior to Aug. 7:

Will masks be mandatory for all students?

Face coverings are “strongly recommended” by the New York Department of Health at all times, except for meals and instruction with appropriate social distancing. However, schools can require face coverings at all times, even during instruction; Spencerport will be amending our reopening plan to require masks, including during instruction, for all students and staff.  Exceptions to this include scheduled mask breaks, mealtime, and if a student or staff member has provided appropriate medical documentation.

Can you please tell me if face shields will be okay for this model of learning in the hybrid capacity?

Face shields may be worn in conjunction with a cloth face covering.

Will students have any health screenings at school or will they all be done by parents?

As stated in the NYSED reopening guidance, the goal is to have all health screening conducted before arrival to school (pgs. 20 & 22). Buildings are working to finalize a screening process for students who are unable to complete the electronic health screening. Please be aware that the district will be providing instructions and resources to parents prior to Mon., Sept. 14.  

What type of health screening will substitutes have before entering the building? 

Substitutes and all staff are required to submit an electronic health screening, with temperature check, prior to entering the building.

Will there be plastic or Plexiglas partitions at desks and the cafeteria? 

At this time barriers will be installed at the point of sale/ point of pick up in all cafeterias and greeter’s areas. Barriers may be installed where social distancing cannot be maintained. All student desks and seating in the cafeteria will be arranged to ensure a social distance of 6-feet between individuals.   

Will there be COVID testing for students and teachers? Are there enough tests and how long will the results take to come back?

As of Aug. 4, it is strongly recommended that schools comply with CDC guidance and not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff members. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the local department of health. NYSED Guidance (pg. 41)

What are your plans if someone (student or teacher) test positive for COVID-19? 

A. If the district learns of a positive test we will contact the Monroe County Department of Health. The district will work with the MCDoH to determine an appropriate course of action based on the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 as well as guidance from NYSDOH and the CDC. The district will work with MCDoH to communicate the plan of action and possible exposures in alignment with the district’s emergency communications plan. This is outlined in MCDoH guidance, and NYSED Reopening Guidance (pgs. 40-42).

What symptoms will keep a student from not being allowed to attend school? 

A: Parents/guardians and school staff must complete a health screening for their child(ren) prior to boarding the bus or coming to school each morning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keep an up to date list of symptoms of Coronavirus on its website.This list is not all inclusive as some individuals may display other symptoms or none at all. As of July 13, the following are listed as the most common symptoms of COVID-19: 

* Fever or chills (100°F or greater) 
* Cough 
* Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
* Fatigue 
* Muscle or body aches 
* Headache 
* New loss of taste or smell 
* Sore throat 
* Congestion or runny nose 
* Nausea or vomiting 
* Diarrhea 

HVAC and Air Filtration

Are the district’s ventilation (HVAC) systems compliant with standards? 

Unlike other public buildings, school buildings and related mechanical infrastructure are under the oversight of the NYS Education Department Office of Facilities Planning (OFP). For decades, OFP has held high standards of air quality far above airports, malls, churches, etc. Of particular focus to OFP has been “make-up air” which is the mixing of a ratio of fresh air to the tempered (heated/cooled) air coming into the classroom. OFP requires an extraordinarily high make-up air for schools.

The OFP approves plans and specifications of HVAC system design prior to construction and it is usual for them to make significant costly changes or add scope to a project. 

• The OFP has determined the district’s current systems and operations meet or exceed required code at the time of installation. 

• The NYSED Re-open Guidance Document further cautions districts against upgrading filters or modifying system design or operating specifications because they are not approved by OFP. The filters will likely reduce air flow, stress the HVAC systems to the point of being inoperative, thus causing a far more concerning air quality result. 

• Knowing this, we have still enlisted the support of LaBella Associates to reach out to our air filter vendor to conduct an air filter survey which will in short verify that we are maximized and if higher level Merv rated filters could be used without compromising our air units then we would make those adjustments. We also replaced all air filters in our systems during the months of June and July to be prepared for the school year. This occurs twice a year for each unit on a regular schedule. Additionally, 

• LaBella is in the process of providing us with a summary of what an analysis of our large instruction/occupancy areas would cost to make sure we are maximizing those systems as well. 

• And finally, we are reviewing our preventative maintenance schedules and with our Direct Digital Control systems, performing a higher level of service and system checks to ensure maximum air flow. It is also important to note that we will have approximately 1/2 the occupancy in our classrooms which should allow for higher levels of air quality and flow. 

Desk Barriers

Will the district be installing shields or barriers on student desks as some other districts are doing?
Yes. NYSED guidance states that in situations where 6 ft. of social distancing cannot be maintained a plastic barrier may be used for separation. As class sizes were composed it was determined that less than 5% of classes at the secondary level required more seats than the average of 12 students per room.  Installing plastic shields on desks will allow us to remain compliant with SED guidance while accommodating these class sizes and maintaining flexibility in room assignments. At the elementary level the use of table dividers and desk shields will allow for similar flexibilities in seating and room arrangement configurations. Plastic shields on all desks and tables will also allow for an additional measure of droplet control and protection for students and staff within the classroom.
MCDOH Guidance:  
Schools must ensure six (6) feet of space in all directions between individuals at all times unless there is an appropriate barrier (ie, plexiglass, a cubicle wall, etc.) between them unless the core activity (e.g., instruction, moving equipment, using an elevator, traveling in common areas) requires a shorter distance or individuals are of the same household. 
Q: Will surfaces be cleaned in between classes? 

A: The district is implementing a process wherein custodial staff will circulate through the building throughout the day to clean high touch surfaces per the NYSED Reopening Guidance (pg. 43)

Q: Do classrooms, hallways, gymnasiums all have HVAC systems that meet the new standards? 

A: The NYDOH guidance indicates that the district should increase outside air as much as possible while maintaining health and safety protocols (pg. 4) The district has evaluated all HVAC systems and those systems will be set to maximize fresh air intake. 

Q: Do all windows open and will they be open to assist with ventilation? 

A: Most classrooms across the district have functional windows, in which staff are encouraged to open to improve ventilation (unless this introduces a health and safety risk, such as allergies, potential fall). In recent capital projects the district installed screens in most windows to aid in preventing insect infiltration when windows were open.

Q: What is the status of fall athletics?

A: All athletics are currently postponed to Sept. 21.

Our athletics office will continue to work in collaboration with the district’s task force to prepare for any mandates and guidelines that are provided from the Governor's office, Department of Health & NYSPHSAA so that we can move forward in providing a top notch athletic experience for our athletes when we are able to return. 

Q: What is the status of summer camps and community programs?

A: As of July 9, we are extending the closures of our buildings, fields, facilities, and summer camps. This extension will allow us the opportunity to devote our efforts to only essential meetings and events in preparation for the hopeful return of school, and being as prepared as possible; however should guidance and available resources change we will certainly let you know.

Q: If the campus is closed, will the student meal distribution continue?

 Yes. The summer meal program for children 18 and under will continue from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from the bus loop at Cosgrove Middle School. No registration is required, and meals for Tuesdays and Thursdays will also be provided ahead of time on the distribution days.

Return to School Efforts
April 12: Our 6-12 return postponed

The release of updated guidance from New York State late Friday delivered with it a great deal of frustration and disappointment, as our district now has no other alternative than to postpone the April 19 return for our secondary students in grades 6-12.

The new guidelines may be found in their entirety at this link. Our district cannot return 6-12 students until the county transmission rate drops. Prior to Friday, our plan was to incorporate the use of physical barriers when six feet of distancing could not be maintained; however the updates indicate that barriers are no longer an acceptable strategy. Further the guidelines specify that:

• elementary schools can maintain physical distancing of at least three feet between students in classrooms and cohorting is recommended when possible. However, in middle and high schools three feet between students in classrooms is recommended only when schools can use cohorting. When schools cannot maintain cohorting, middle and high schools must maintain physical distancing of at least six feet between students in classrooms.

Our district and high school leaders re-examined our spaces and class sizes this weekend, and ultimately concluded we do not have the ability to cohort our students or maintain six feet distancing with our existing square footage. We cannot risk the health and safety of our students and staff. Nor can we violate New York State guidance for risk of jeopardizing legal and insurance coverage.

We truly understand how difficult this is, and realize none of this is ideal. Our plan moving forward is to continue to evaluate our plans weekly based on transmission rates, and keep you updated as we go. On a side note, please retain 6-12 bus passes sent last week, as these assignments will be in effect once permitted to open.

Our K-5 return today went incredibly well, and our schools were filled with a renewed energy and optimism. We remain hopeful that we will be able to do the same for our 6-12 students as quickly and safely as possible.

 March 25: Below please find a few FAQs regarding the red zone designation from the CDC:

What chart is being used when looking at rates of transmission, the CDC or Monroe County?

The guidance we have been given is to follow the CDC updates, given that NYS DOH has been largely silent since last summer.

The CDC says county spread should be considered, not in the schools themselves. If the two indicators are different, the actions corresponding to the higher threshold should be chosen. See below. 

CDC says county spread should be considered , not schools themselves  

How do you know that Monroe County is in a red zone/high transmission area?

Districts utilize the guidance from the CDC, and the CDC COVID tracker link. 

The metrics that put us in the high transmission area is the total new COVID 19 cases per 100,000 persons in the last 7 days.

CDC transmission level chart

How does this impact physical distancing requirements for grades 6-12?

CDC prevention strategies
The above chart advises that middle and high schools must maintain at least 6 feet distance between students in classrooms when cohorting cannot be used.

As of March 23, the CDC reports Monroe County in the red zone with the following graphics. The tracker link is provided above, and here for your convenience,

CDC bar chart for MC

CDC 7-day average

CDC graphic of Monroe County
Why are K-5 students returning 4 days versus 5 days?

The recommendation to move to four days doubles the current model and Wednesdays will be used for planning, staff training, designing lessons, and refining curriculum. More specifically, it will include the following:

• Supporting new teachers for added sections who have not taught that grade level previously with learning the curriculum, planning and preparing for daily lessons, learning about their new students (social/emotional needs and academic needs, including previous assessments), supporting teammates with establishing classroom management routines and environment, use of technology, parent communication, differentiation to meet the needs of all learners, assessments, etc.

• Planning SEL lessons or other instructional lessons as a team where teachers will rotate to support maintaining a connection with their original teacher and easing the transition

• Continued collaboration and meeting with remote teachers to align instruction for hybrid and remote learners, as well as plan and prepare all materials for parent pick up dates.

• PD for teachers for curriculum, programs, technology, etc.

• Collaboration with teammates and team leaders to adjust curriculum maps due to loss of time so we are providing students with the most effective and essential learning possible

Meetings with additional support staff who have been reassigned to organize support and lessons for students effectively.

K-5: Will the remote classes be condensed with this change?

No. We still have approximately 180 students learning remotely.

K-5: What will the new Wednesdays look like?

Teachers and principals are developing plans for Wednesdays, ensuring that the time allotment is age appropriate and that there are expectations for each grade level.

How will the additional sections/groups be filled?

Additional sections, or pods, will be filled by intervention specialists. Teaching assistants may be used to help support a learning pod.

Here is a clip from the parent forum on why the additional groups and teachers are needed.

How many remote students are there?

There are 3 remote teachers in each elementary building, and they educate 180 students districtwide.

Will students and staff continue to wear their masks?

Yes. In terms of Spencerport's approach with masks, our expectation is that students and staff will continue to wear them since it they have proven to be an effective mitigation measure and we don't want to disrupt our momentum of a full return. This expectation is based on the CDC, NYSDOH and MCDPH health guidelines which remains in effect, and it is reinforced in the plan that Spencerport submitted to NYSED.

If we go back to a four or five day return (for K-5), can my children still opt to a 2-day schedule?

Dr. Kissel stated that the goal was to explore opportunities that would increase in-person instructional time for our students.  Remaining in a two-day a week model does not meet this goal and the district does not have the resources to maintain a 2 day a week model and a 4 day a week model.

I've read 6 foot spacing or physical barrier. Why can't we remove or reduce the 6 feet rule and maintain the physical barrier?

As we have learned more about the spread of COVID-19 it has been recognized plastic barrier are not a substitute or replacement for 6 foot of social distancing. Plastic barriers primarily only protect against large respiratory droplets which usually happen from sneezing or coughing. Here in Monroe County Dr. Michael Mendoza and his team advise the use of plastic barriers should not be used as a substitute for 6 feet and they are not taken into account when determining a close contact when contact tracing.  According to the CDC “In general, the closer, longer, and more frequent the interaction between students, teachers and staff, the higher the risk of respiratory droplets being passed between people.

arrow pointing to questionWhy are they planning on returning only K-5 and not middle school or high school?

With the goal of maintaining 6 feet of social distance, there is not the adequate square footage in the middle and high school building allow our 6-12 students return in a four day model. result of the number students in each building (approx.1,100 in HS and approx. 850 in MS), the number of secondary courses in each building, and complexity of student schedules. There would need to a reduction in the 6 feet of social distance for the high school and middle school to return to additional in-person instructional days. Dr. Kissel and the Board of Education have contacted local and state leader to identify the metrics needed to allow for full return of all of our student, K-12.

Can the community have an opportunity send in questions (like a FAQ) and have them and their responses posted?

Yes, see above email to submit questions. Answers from previous questions may be found on this page. Please keep checking back as we continue to add your questions.

How were parents selected for the Ad Hoc committee?

The K-5 ad-hoc committee that researched the options to increase in-person learning is composed of classroom teachers, interventionists, the district medical director, principals, and other administrators. Parents were selected to participate on the District Task Force on Reopening.

What options are being considered for returning students to more in-person instruction?

Dr. Pamela Kissel, interim superintendent, tasked an ad hoc committee for K-5 to identify and plan for a return to school based on three options:
   1.       * Alternating Wednesdays
   2.       * Four-day return
   3.       * Five-day, full return
Notes from the first ad hoc committee meeting may be found on our website at this link,

The committee consists of teachers, principals and administrators who are discussing and problem-solving scenarios based on the existing NYS requirements.

Why are these options being considered? What has changed?

Dr. Kissel requested that a K-5 ad hoc committee be established, specifically to look at options for returning students to school for more in person instruction, given current health guidelines. Simply put, we want students to return to in-person learning as quickly as possible, yet the guidelines from New York State and Monroe County Departments of Public Health unfortunately have not changed.

What is Spencerport doing to advocate for its students?

Spencerport joined school districts across the county in contacting state and local leaders and advocating for new and/or updated guidance to better inform decisions on reopening, operations, and health and safety. For Spencerport particularly, we are asking for specific criteria or updates related to the six-foot social distancing requirement, since our classrooms do not have the square footage necessary to accommodate a full return under the existing mandate.

To review the advocacy letters, please visit this link.

What is the board's position on fully reopening?

The Board of Education released its perspectives on fully reopening schools in March 2021. The link to the article may be found here.

What is the biggest hurdle to a full return?

On average, Spencerport classrooms are approximately 800 square feet, so each room contains a varying number of desks depending on the actual size, configuration, unique furniture or attributes (sinks, shelving, closets, etc.) Currently, our classes safely fit 12 – 14 desks on average, with more (16) desks at the high school where there is greater square footage. The Plexiglas barriers provide an added layer of protection wherever feasible. The CDC offered:

CDC layout of classroom

What is the CDC’s latest guidance to K-12 schools?

In February, the CDC released an operational strategy for K-12 schools to consider while preparing action plans for the safe return to in-person instruction. This outline reinforces the essential conditions to open safely and reiterates the importance of practicing:

  1. The required and correct use of masks and face coverings
  2. Physical distancing (at least 6 feet) to the greatest extent possible. To ensure physical distancing, schools should establish policies and implement structural interventions to promote physical distance of at least 6 feet between people. Cohorting or podding is also recommended to minimize exposure across the school environment.

Spencerport has successfully implemented the above measures since last September, so we hope to receive updated guidance from state and local leaders.

Oct. 2020: Updated NYS guidance for students with COVID-19 symptoms

Sept. 11: SCSD Handbook for the Return to School

Aug. 24: Monroe County DoH provides COVID FAQs (also provided below).

Aug. 17: NYS Department of Health Requirements for Reopening Schools

FAQs from New York State Education Department:

July 22: NYS School Reopening FAQs


Hybrid Learning Plan for 2020-21

Can families request a change from the Hybrid Learning Model to the Remote Learning Model?

Parents may request a change from Hybrid to Remote. We do ask that parents commit to an instructional model until the completion of the first marking period, which is Oct. 30.

Parents received an email from their school principals on Oct. 2, with a link for parents to indicate if they want to change their instruction model for the next session of school, Nov. - Jan. Only parents requesting a change need to complete and submit this link.

What is the percentage of families that picked remote vs hybrid?

Approximately 15.5% of our parents selected the remote model.

Will hybrid and remote students have the same teacher for instruction?

Elementary students will not have the same instructor, but secondary students (6-12) may have the same teacher.

What is the status of Monroe 2- BOCES WeMoCo?  

WEMOCO will be offering a hybrid model of instruction to begin the school year. Students who have chosen the hybrid model for Spencerport will attend WEMOCO live 5 days out of 10. The other days will be remote/distance learning. If students want to attend remotely that is an option for them as well. There will be an AM session and PM session like a normal school year. Students will have the option of driving to WEMOCO in their personal vehicles as long as they have a parking pass with the high school, signed permission slip from their parents/guardians, and a parking pass from WEMOCO. This accommodation is for this year only in an attempt to support limiting the number of buses needed to transport students back and forth and to support social distancing. Additional information including the schedule can be found at the link below:

WeMoCo from BOCES 2 at this link.

What is the status of the district’s work on Culturally Responsive Education, equity for Black students and students of color, professional development, etc.? 

Spencerport has been working on Culturally Responsive Education, and a summary of our efforts so far may be found in one of our district newsletters, Cornerstone, at this link  

We are currently working on CRE through our districtwide equity committee. We also have held frequent student summits that are an integral part of this work. We have mapped out a series of professional development trainings for the 2020-21 school year that will address not only our faculty, but also our students, parents, staff and entire learning community. Our hope is to roll this out within the next month in terms of what this looks like.

Hybrid Questions

What are the school hours this year?

                       Start        Dismissal

High School: 7:25 a.m.   2:10 p.m.

Cosgrove:         8 a.m.    2:50 p.m.

Elem. Schools: 9 a.m.    3:30 p.m.

Relative to drop off and pick up, will children be able to arrive to school early? How will pick up and drop off work?

Our schools are currently working on the logistics of arrival and drop off. Our main goal is to make sure student supervision is available and ensure health and safety. 

Will kids stay in their classrooms for instruction and teachers move from class to class or will there be transitions....specifically for elementary kids? What is the status of specials (art, music, physical education)?

K-5 students will remain in their class and "specials" will be held in their classroom. Secondary students will be traveling to classes throughout the school day.

Will students have band and chorus at the secondary level?

Yes, currently we are exploring the use of the auditoriums at Cosgrove and the high school to ensure that we can maintain social distancing of 12 feet.

What are the estimated class sizes?

Currently, our estimates are 12-15 per classroom, and this will depend on the room size and our ability to balance schedules and sections.

When will we be receiving the daily schedule for hybrid elementary learners, to know when the teacher's live lessons are?

This has yet to be confirmed.Teachers will likely communicate via their respective Schoology courses; or there could be set hours and a schedule where students will have access to their teacher within the confines of the school day.

Remote Questions

Click this link for the Remote Learning Plan for 2020-21

Will remote students have specific times to be on Zoom for live teaching during school days?

Yes it is our hope to release more details and plans in the coming days.

Did the district consider consolidating remote with in-person classes, so that the students at home can attend and view lessons at the same given time?

We are exploring this option and are addressing the logistics involved with this approach.

Will remote students be able to get help or tutoring with a teacher, if need?

Yes, we are finalizing when that can take place. To see what time of day that it will be available for students and parents on Zoom.

What is the process for remote students to receive school materials such as books, packets, worksheets?

The district is making every effort to limit the amount of tangible materials as much as possible. The principal will set up times for pickup and delivery of materials over the next few weeks and provide more details as available.




Are all students getting upgraded laptops?

Students at grades K-5 will be asked to return their current laptops in exchange for updated devices. Students entering grades 6 and 9 will also receive updated laptops. Grades 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 will keep their existing assigned devices.

Is WIFI available for remote instruction days?

Yes. The district is currently working with families who indicated on the Enrollment Intent Form that they do not have WiFi in their homes. 

Will students need a printer at home?
No. The majority of the work will be in digital format. 

Will new laptops be issued to eighth grade students?

Eighth graders do not receive new laptops. The district issues new devices at grades 6 and 9.

Special Education

Q: Will testing for learning disabilities be available this school year?

Yes. Testing will resume this fall while following all CDC and state ed guidelines. Please feel free to reach out to the Special Education Department at 585-349-5140 or visit our web page at this link.

Q: How will services be delivered to students with IEP’s?

We will adhere to the recommendations on a child's IEP, and work with our specialist providers to ensure our students receive accommodations whether in person or remotely.


Q: When will we be notified of the school bus schedules? 

The Transportation Department is currently creating the school bus routes and the times will be communicated when the bus passes are sent out. This process has been delayed due to creation of the hybrid system student groupings. We get these out as soon as possible.

Q: Will remote families be able to request bus transportation in October, if changing to hybrid or full in-person instruction?

Yes. We will be developing a survey or process in early October for parents to complete, allowing enough time for our transportation department to balance and reroute as needed.

School Nutrition and Cafeterias

Q: What plans are in place for school lunches in our cafeterias?

Each school is currently working on the logistics of school lunch in our cafeterias. For instance, the high school is planning on utilizing desks with social spacing; Cosgrove intends to utilize its tables with students spaced with measured distances; and the elementary schools are planning a similar table model with distancing students by seat.

Questions prior to Aug. 7

Q: For remote learning, will my child get a laptop?

Yes, Spencerport's Reopening Plan does outline technology accessibility for each child.

Q: Will the start date be delayed as other districts have done?  

Students first day of school will be on Mon., Sept. 14.This later start date will allow for staff training and planning to support our various instructional models. The amended school calendar for 2020-21 may be found at this link.

Q: Why did you group students by a Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday model? 

The advisory task force recommended the Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday model, after expressed concerns that students would be out of school for almost a full week with the Mon/Tue and Thu/Fri option. The latter model would further present difficulty for our primary students as they learn and develop routines.

Q: Will this schedule provide students with equal amount of in-school time? Can you please advise how students’ schedules will be assigned when the Hybrid Instruction Model is selected and you have more than one child in the district?

The Hybrid model is designed to provide the Blue and Gold groups the same number of students and amount of time in school. Once the Spencerport group, Rangers group and the Remote Learning group are finalized, the district will be using Infinite Campus to balance all K-12 classrooms across the district while taking into account households with children in multiple schools. Consideration is also given to balancing students for transportation.

Q: Using the Enrollment Intent Form, if I select the Hybrid Instruction Model, will all of the children in my household be scheduled in the same group and attend school on the same day?

Yes, students in the same household will be assigned in the same group, and therefore will attend school on the same days, if the Hybrid Instruction Model is chosen. Please remember to complete the Enrollment Intent Form for each of the children in your household. 

Q: Will we have the option of picking which two-day session our child will attend? 

Unfortunately, due to the complexity of scheduling and the effort to keep families together and buses balanced, parents will not have the option to decide which two days their children attend. If you have a hardship or extenuating circumstance, please contact your child’s school principal. 

Q: What considerations went into the decision to opt for a Hybrid and Remote reopening approach?

Online surveys for parents and staff; task force meetings; guidance from the state and local departments of health, NYS Department of Education and the directives of the Governor's Office. Primarily, in a full return model, the district would not able to meet the social distance guidelines released by the CDC and the NYSDOH, therefore, the Reopening Task Force made the recommendation to consider hybrid and remote learning options for families.

   Additional considerations included:

   • COVID-19 cases and trends
   • Best practices from our nursing staff, the
local Board of Health, the NYSDOH, and
the CDC
   • Current inventory of personal protective
equipment (PPE) and future needs
   • Assessment of facilities and spaces
   • Enrollment and building capacity
   • SCSD curriculum, instruction, and
   • Budgetary and fiscal constraints
   • State and federal guidelines and
   • Examples of plans from other states and
   • Special population needs
   • Developmental needs of students
   • Busing and transportation
   • Staffing patterns and personnel
   • Technology

Q: Could you describe what the full remote learning model will entail? Is it going to be similar to end of last year’s structure?

In response to the "Distance Learning Survey" that the district administered in the spring, parents shared that they would like their child to have greater access to their teacher(s) and higher expectations in terms of academic requirements. Although the final details for 100% remote learning haven't been finalized, the district is working diligently to incorporate the feedback that our community provided. Unlike the spring, students will need to be assessed on their academic progress throughout the school year and this will require a more rigorous approach in terms of teaching and learning.

Q: Will there be an updated calendar, with day rotations, published by the district?

Yes. There were be a separate day rotation calendar for the high school, middle school, and elementary school. This calendar will be finalized and more information is forthcoming when available.

Q: Is there a possibility of the district switching from hybrid model to all in-class in the middle of the year? Or... will this be the plan for the entire year?
This will be a decision that is made based on guidance from the governor's office. 

Q: Why isn’t kindergarten running 5 days a week? 

Due to enrollment and the ability to safely social distance, Kindergarten will follow the hybrid schedule