Watkins Glen School District Superintendent Greg Kelahan announced Monday, November 23 in a phone interview that his district would move to all remote learning starting Monday, November 30.  This is in advance of preparing all the schools in the district for full time in-person learning starting after Christmas break.

The Odessa File reports that during the month of December, district staff will reconfigure classrooms, adjust student schedules and transportation plans, all with public health safety measures as the top priority.

Kelahan told the Odessa File that starting January 4, 2021, schools would be open to all the students who want to attend in-person. Pre-K through 6th grade students would attend five days a week, and grades 7 through 12 would attend at least 4 days a week.  Wednesday may be a remote-only learning day for secondary school students.

Students who choose to attend remote-only would need to commit to that plan until at least mid-spring.

Kelahan added that the new, all in-person learning plan received overwhelming support by staff members and the School Board.

-------------

In News of the Finger Lakes Region,

The Greater Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council has launched an economic development initiative to evaluate and act on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fingerlakes1.com reports that the council will focus on supporting economic recovery at the community level.  The US Economic Development Administration funds the initiative.

Jay Gsell, the Executive Director of the Greater Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, states that the goal of the initiative is to create a path towards recovery and to help communities in the region find the resources to enact best practices for resiliency and economic growth.

The planning council covers a region encompassing the following counties: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties.   About 1.2 million people live in the region.

------------

Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released yesterday from the Tompkins County health department, indicate that there are 18 additional positives, and 17 new recoveries. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 130 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, there are 5 new cases of COVID-19 reported as of today, leaving 40 active cases, according to their Health Department.

Contributing writers:  Tessie Devlin, Esther Racoosin