School districts need to meet with parents to explain their reopening plans and guidelines, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, as a decision on the school year looms this week.
Cuomo has said New York is likely to reopen schools in September as the state's coronavirus infection rate remains low and has flattened, even as the virus surges in the rest of the country.
The governor said some of the reopening proposals submitted by school districts can be difficult for parents to digest.
"You look at some of these (school reopening) plans and they're indecipherable," he said at a news conference.
New York's coronavirus infection rate over the last several weeks has hovered at around 1 percent out of the tens of thousands of tests conducted. As of Monday, 536 people were hospitalized and three people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The school reopening decision is one that reverberates at all levels: From parents in single-guardian households, to teachers, school district leadership and the governor himself. Plans for reopening were due on Friday.
Cuomo urged schools to meet with parents to explain the plan and detail the guidance for reopening. The plans must include provisions for in-classroom learning as well as remote education.
The balance is a tricky one to achieve amid concerns over teacher and student health, but also the need for parents to be able to return to the workplace after the pandemic closed offices around the country.
"They have questions and they need answers and time is short," Cuomo said. "The parents are going to make the decision."