South Glens Falls Superintendent Kristine Orr has spent the summer planning -- buying masks and developing social distancing plans for students and teachers.  

"We still have a month to go and as we know about this virus, a month is like a year and things can change in the blink of an eye," she said. 

What You Need To Know

  • Schools are bracing for a reopening announcement on Friday

  • They have spent the last several months developing detailed plans for remote learning and social distancing

  • Schools are facing financial challenges with the reopening

  • Gov. Cuomo has said parents need to feel like their children are going to be safe

 So with that in mind, she also had teachers develop a plan in case schools have to close again. 

"When you look at the past pandemic information, which I never thought I'd have to look at, you have to plan for another spike," Orr said.

These are the considerations school leaders have had to make as a decision is expected Friday by Governor Andrew Cuomo on whether schools can reopen next month -- capping a summer of uncertainty for school superintendents across New York. 

Palmyra-Macedon Superintendent Bob Ike says a major hurdle will be over resources for schools -- including whether more than 700 districts large and small will be fighting over PPE orders. 

"If 700 plus districts in the state are looking for the same supplies and same vendors at the same time, we're going to have a supply chain problem like we did with school budget votes and envelopes and ballots," Ike said. 

Schools are bracing for a return that will look very different. And state lawmakers like Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh worry they may not have the resources needed to do so. 

"Placing it all on the backs of school districts that are different across the state, are in different places financially, have different needs, it's too much," Walsh said. 

Walsh was among a bipartisan group of lawmakers sending a letter to Governor Cuomo this week to urge him to expand COVID testing capacity for schools. Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara is also backing that move, and says it will take more money to make testing work.  

"It is going to take funding. The state's not in the best economic condition right now, but when it comes to priorities, when it comes to spending, what's more important than keeping our students safe," he said. 

Cuomo meanwhile has continued to reiterate the reopening will be ultimately up to parents, and whether they feel safe to send their children to school.