How to Get Back to School During a Pandemic

How to Get Back to School During a Pandemic

With the start of classes only two weeks away, Long Island parents and schools are feeling the mounting stress of planning for back to school in a post-pandemic world.

On August 7, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave all New York schools approval to continue in-person classes this September. According to the press release, COVID-19 infection rates statewide have measured below the threshold in every region. Health officials believe these trends inspire hope that the safety measures we have been implementing are effective and predict these same measures applied in a school environment could result in similar effects.

In light of Governor Cuomo’s approval, schools across Long Island have been scrambling to submit reopening plans in line with both the safety measures required of the state and the wishes of the school community they serve. It has not been an easy task. The reopening plans must consider multiple factors, including building capacity, students’ needs, the number of staff, and parental concerns, which differ significantly from district to district.

Mineola Public School District announced their reopening plan on July 31, inviting students back for in-person daily learning five days a week with new COVID-19 safety protocols. These safety measures include:

  • Requiring in-person students to participate in cohort learning;
  • Restricting cohort group sizes to 14-22 students for elementary school classes, 15-22 students for middle school classes, and 22-27 students for high school classes depending on space available;
  • Requiring masks to be worn in all areas where 6-ft social distance cannot be maintained;
  • Requiring all students to stay with the designated cohort teacher except for special areas such as gym or art. Those teachers will push in;
  • Scheduling elementary students to eat lunch in classrooms while middle and high school students will be allowed to eat in cafeterias or outdoor spaces at a 75% reduced capacity in 20-minute shifts, maintaining social distancing at all times;
  • Allowing outdoor recess to be provided daily with additional opportunities for cohorts to go outside; and
  • Disinfecting all buildings and classrooms daily with frequent multiple cleanings of high traffic areas.

Other districts, such as Riverhead Public Schools, do not have the building capacity to allow all students to attend in-person classes at the same time. The district unveiled their plan to teach a hybrid model for the upcoming year, implementing both in-person learnings in cohort style classrooms and remote learning at home.

Regardless of what type of learning model your child will be participating in this fall, safety education beginning at home is the key to a successful school year. There are several topics parents can review with their children that can be applied across all spectrums and can prepare your child for any situation they may encounter in school or in the community.

Know the Learning Models

Parents can expect to see three types of learning models roll out with the 2020-2021 school year. Long Island COVID-19 trends in Suffolk and Nassau counties will ultimately determine when and how these models will change throughout the year. However, each model’s basics can help parents prepare their students for safety in all learning areas.

  • In-Person: Students attend class at school with a teacher, most likely in cohort style classes that list the number of students and teachers exposed to a group.
  • Hybrid: Students may attend in-person courses two to three days a week and complete the remainder of class instruction through live-online lessons or remote assignments.
  • Remote: Students will complete all classwork from home via online resources, individual assignments, live-classes, or packets of information picked up by students/parents before the start of classes.

In lieu of public education, an increased number of New York families have been opted for homeschooling and private tutors this fall. According to Newsday, fears surrounding safety, dissatisfaction with distance learning, and concerns of gaps in education are fueling demand for homeschool resources to provide parents with more control over their child’s education and health.

Reviewing the learning models with your child can help them to understand what safety responsibilities are expected of them, even when learning from home. Determine the times of the school day your child is most at risk for exposure and practice the daily safety measures required of them by the school and your community frequently. For guidance on how to practice, Safe Kids Worldwide as several kid-friendly resources that can help.

How To Keep Kids Safe

As health and safety advocates, our team at Siler & Ingber wishes everyone a safe and happy start to the new school year. It takes everyone to help reduce the chance of a secondary outbreak of COVID-19 on Long Island, including children of all ages. Help your child understand their power in reducing this unpredictable virus’s spread by reviewing the best safety practices for prevention below:

  • Personal Screenings: Parents should encourage their children to frequently discuss their health and help them identify when they do not feel well enough to attend school. Start with reviewing how to identify the signs of COVID-19 as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) to ensure your family is aware of the symptoms if they arise.
  • Masks: All students who attend in-person classes must wear masks and face coverings in school that completely cover the nose and mouth while inside of the building. Talk to your child about the importance of wearing a mask to keep others safe. Ensure they can take their mask on and off independently and create a plan for switching out masks if one becomes dirty or wet.
  • Social Distancing: Practice social distancing with your children at home to prepare them for the new norm at school and on the bus. Being in a familiar environment with friends can cause children to revert to their typical methods of engaging with peers. Here are some tips for practicing at home.
  • Transportation: If your child is riding the bus to school, review the importance of following the new and old safety rules of being a passenger. Encourage children to wear seatbelts (if available), keep face masks on, sit down when the bus is moving, and reduce distractions for the driver.
  • Hand Washing: Schools are mandated to practice frequent hand washing before and after activities. Parents can review with their children how to properly wash their hands at home to promote the continuation of good health habits in the classroom.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizers will be provided in classrooms to reduce the spread of the virus when hand washing is unavailable. Young children who are not mature enough to dispense hand sanitizer should not be given these items to bring to school as they can be dangerous when ingested or used in excess.
  • Social-Emotional Needs: Communicate often with your children about how they are feeling about school. All learning models will be a tremendous change for students entering the 2020-2021 school year. Parents who are concerned with their child’s social-emotional well-being should contact teachers and staff for suggestions on addressing your child’s needs. For more information on positive mental health practices on Long Island, check with Nassau County and Suffolk County Departments of Health to find services near you.

Have a safe and healthy start to the new school year, Long Island!

New York City and Long Island Accident Attorneys

Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using past experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343 or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email



PROMOTION PERIOD: The Siler & Ingber Mineola MegaStar Contest begins on March 20, 2023 at 12:00 am ET and
ends on May 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET.

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible, a MegaStar must be a legal U.S. resident at least 16 years of age as of date of
Nomination. A Mineola MegaStar is defined as a person who lives or works in Mineola and is admired or idealized for their courage, dedication, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. By participating, Entrants agree to be
bound by the official rules. Sponsors reserve the right to verify and determine eligibility in their sole discretion.

TO PARTICIPATE: During the Promotion Period, Siler & Ingber will accept from the members of the public (herein, the “Nominators”) nominations of Eligible Entrants (Mineola Megastars) who live or works in Mineola. Nominations may be entered by visiting and completing the online form and essay submission or by emailing photo and essay to during the Promotion Period to receive one (1) entry. Essay must not exceed 500 words. Acceptable essay formats are word documents or pdf ONLY. Nominations submitted without all required information or after the Promotion Period will be disregarded.
Online submissions must be received by May 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET to be eligible. All entries become the exclusive property of Siler & Ingber and will not be acknowledged or returned.

ESSAY: During the promotion period, an Entrant can nominate a Mineola MegaStar for the contest by submitting a
photo and essay. The essay must describe why the individual should be chosen as the award winner, including how the individual demonstrates some or all of the following qualifications:

1) an inspiring example to others by helping make Mineola a better place to live (through volunteerism, extra-curricular actives, special projects, giving back, etc.)

2) going above and beyond to aid a friend, family member, stranger or community in a time of need; and/or

3) love of profession and desire, determination and diligence to help outside of normal job responsibilities. The essay must be in English and no more than 500 words. All information provided must be truthful, accurate and complete. An Entrant cannot nominate more than one Hero.

Submitted Materials: Each essay must satisfy all the following submission requirements the Submission


· The essay must be the original creation of Entrant.

· The essay must not portray any recognizable individual without their prior consent, including consent from the

· Entrant must either own all rights to the essay or otherwise have the right to submit the essay in the contest and to provide the rights to Sage Surfaces as set forth herein.

· The essay must not infringe any third party’s intellectual property rights.

· The essay may not contain illegal, indecent, obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit content, or otherwise offensive material or inappropriate content such as aberrational behavior, graphic violence, drug abuse, or nudity.

· The essay must not promote bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.

· The essay must be non-defamatory and must not invade any third party’s right of privacy or publicity.

· The essay must otherwise be appropriate for publication or broadcast or display on a general interest website.

By submitting an essay, each Entrant represents and warrants that the essay meets all of the submission
requirements and that the distribution, reproduction, display and any other uses of any part of the essay by Siler & Ingber as permitted herein will not infringe any third-party rights. Each Entrant further agrees to indemnify and hold Siler & Ingber harmless from and against any and all claims, demands, damages, costs, liabilities and causes of action of whatsoever nature that are based upon or arise out of any breach by such Entrant of such warranties or representations made by contestant or of these official rules.

By submitting an essay, Entrant grants to Siler & Ingber a non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide, royalty-free license (and waives all moral rights in and to the essay) to display or otherwise use the essay in connection with this promotion and as set forth herein. If Siler & Ingber determines, in its sole discretion and at any time during the promotion period, that any nomination violates the submission requirements, is otherwise unsuitable, offensive, or in poor taste, or violates these official rules, Siler & Ingber reserves the right to remove and disqualify the essay. Siler & Ingber retains sole
discretion as to whether any nomination satisfies the submission requirements and the official rules.

WINNER SELECTION: For the entry period, a panel of judges will select potential Mineola Megastar finalists based on the compelling nature of the essay based on the criteria set forth herein. Top 5 entries will be announced on May 10, 2023. We will post the top 5 on social media. Final winner announced May 15, 2023. Award Ceremony for Mineola MegaStar will take place on May 19, 2023.

WINNER NOTIFICATION AND RELEASES: We will attempt to notify potential winners via telephone and/or email. If a potential winner: (a) does not respond within 48 hours of initial notification attempt; (b) is not in compliance with these official rules, (c) does not meet the eligibility requirements, (d) declines the prize, he or she will be disqualified, and an alternate winner will be selected by applying the criteria set forth above.
PRIZES: There is 1 Mineola MegaStar. Winner will receive a $500 Cash Prize.

PUBLICITY AND MARKETING: Submission of a nomination in the contest constitutes permission to Siler & Ingber to use Entrants name, identity, title, likeness, distinctive appearance, physical likeness, image, portrait, picture, photograph (whether still or moving), screen persona, voice, vocal style, statements, gesture, mannerism, personality, performance characteristic, biographical data, signature, social media handles and identities, and any other indicia or imitation of identity or likeness for purposes of advertising and trade, in any medium, without further notice, approval, or compensation, unless prohibited by law.

PRIZE RESTRICTIONS: No transfer, assignment, sale, duplication, cash redemption or substitution of Prize (or portion of Prize) is permitted, except by Sponsors, which reserve the right to substitute a Prize (or applicable portion of Prize) with one of comparable or greater value, as determined by Sponsors. Sponsors are not responsible for and will not replace a lost or stolen Prize or any component thereof. All Prize details are at Sponsors’ sole and absolute discretion. Non-compliance with these Official Rules may result in disqualification and, at Sponsors’ sole discretion, the awarding of Prize to an alternate winner.


Do I Have A Case

    Skip to content