School superintendents in the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES region aresupportive of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recent statements regarding the importance of in-person learning for students.

On Monday, the governor said she was committed to keeping schools open as part of
the state’s plan to deal with a winter surge of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.
“Schools in the HFM BOCES region remain committed to providing in-person learning to
the greatest extent possible to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of our
students,” HFM BOCES District Superintendent David Ziskin said. “With the safety
protocols we have in place, we continue to believe that schools are among the safest
places in our community.”

Rumors have been circulating on social media that school superintendents in the region
have met to discuss a mass school closure due to COVID-19. No such meeting has
taken place or is planned, Ziskin said. “As the governor said, we’re in a different environment and a different circumstance. All across the state, school districts have temporarily shifted to remote instruction due to staff shortages, transportation issues and other circumstances, and our schools are prepared to pivot temporarily to remote instruction if circumstances merit. However, we do not believe a long-term shift to remote learning is warranted,” Ziskin said.

On Monday, the governor also announced that the state has ordered 2 million at-home
COVID test kits for schools and families. Local school districts will provide families with
more information about these test kits once it is available.
School superintendents say the availability of these kits will be another resource for
schools to help stop the spread of the virus.