Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          April 12, 2021


Subject:     New State Guidance/School Conditions

Attached, please find a copy of the new State “Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency”. (Click Here)


Some of the sections have been underlined to indicate sections of interest.


The first part is more of an overview. The following parts go into more detail.

Some points of interest:

1. A plan “with opportunities” for feedback must be developed, posted, and submitted to NYSED and the Local Health Department, Erie County Department of Health.

The Local Health Department is charged with ensuring the enforcement of these minimum standards (pg. 1).

2. Six feet (6 ft.) of separation must be maintained between adults and adults and students (pg. 8).

3. When eating and masks are off, six feet (6 ft.) of distance must be maintained, e.g. in classroom when students are eating (pg. 8).

4. “logs that include the date, time and scope of cleaning and disinfection, as well as identify cleaning and disinfection frequency for each facility and area type” must be kept. (pg. 3, 15)

5. Individuals testing positive or with symptoms must be immediately sent home (pg. 6, 7, 21)

6. Cleaning and disinfecting of areas occupied by suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases (pg. 17-18):

a. Close off area(s)
b. Open windows
c. Wait 24 hours before cleaned or disinfected (unless not feasible)
d. Restrict access to area(s)

7. Protection for students, faculty and staff who are at increased risk and “individuals who may not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment” (pg. 4):

a. May include remote learning or telework
b. May include additional PPE

8. Ventilation/Filtration Recommendations (pg. 11-13)

a. “Classrooms” with Mechanical Ventilation

i. Upgrade to MERV-13 or higher
ii. Keep bathroom exhaust systems running 24/7
iii. Run one week prior to reopening
iv. “Flush” building air for at least two hours prior to and one hour after occupancy

b. Classrooms without Mechanical Ventilation

i. Use portable air cleaner with MERV-13 or greater
ii. Confirm unit can deliver at least two (2) air turnovers per hour (400 sq. ft.)

9. Cohorts are when students are grouped for the school year (pg. 13)


The above is an overview done quickly to provide you with information that you need to have.


It is a long document but it contains much information.


As more is clarified we will update you.


Once a plan is developed, a copy will be sent to all teachers for a vote on its approval or disapproval.


See also Buffalo News article “Citing surges among youth, Erie County urges caution in returning to in-person learning”, April 11, 2021.


“We will also be requesting a copy of the procedures that will be used to seek your input on said “plan”.


Now that you are back, we will also be surveying the schools/sites to see if the issues you have reported have been corrected.

Stay Tuned.

Please stay well. Take no chances.