Dear Bellmore-Merrick Families,

I am writing today about the evolving situation concerning the opening of our school year and the COVID-19 health crisis.  Currently, there is no official guidance on some of the important questions that would help schools navigate the start of the school year.  In spite of this, the district has and will continue to work hard with the School Opening Committee on many preparations.

Please know that the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff and families remains our top priority.  As new information continues to develop, I will seek to update the school community as often as possible. 

What we are happy to report as of today, August 9, 2021:

  • Schools will open fully for all students starting Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
  • All schools will return to normal bell schedules.
  • All transportation will return to normal schedules.
  • All schools have removed the clear barriers/shields from student desks.
  • Students will be able to use lockers and locker rooms.
  • The District will be reinstating instructional practices (hands-on learning, labs, group work, field trips, etc…) that make the overall learning experience as normal as possible. 
  • Following CDC and AAP guidance that prioritizes in-person instruction, the District will not have a full-year remote learning program.
  • Increased cleaning and disinfection measures implemented last year will continue into the 2021-2022 school year. 

As shared last week, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) unexpectedly announced that they will not be providing reopening guidance for schools.  At this time, the NYSDOH has said that school districts should develop their own plans to reopen in person this fall, utilizing the most current CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.

In response, State Education Department Commissioner Betty Rosa sent a letter urging the NYSDOH to reconsider and share guidance with school districts. The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District also sent the attached letters to the respective commissioners of the NYSDOH and the Nassau County Department of Health requesting that they provide school districts with detailed plans regarding how to safely reopen our schools for the 2021-22 school year.  While we await a response, the district continues to make preliminary plans for school to open.  

As noted above, our top priority is the overall well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and to have them in the best and safest learning environment possible.  As new information regarding the opening of school becomes available, I will communicate with families.

Take care and be well,

Michael Harrington