Director: Rebecca Marzeski
Secretary: Alesha Smith
Web Master:  Jean Kosina
220 Henry Street Herkimer, NY 13350
Phone: (315) 866-4831 Fax: (315) 866-9043

St. Francis deSales Early Childhood Learning Center

LAST UPDATED: July 31, 2020

The following template was created by the Capital Region BOCES Health-Safety-Risk and Communications Services and adapted by the Catholic School Office to assist schools in crafting their required school reopening plans following the COVID-19 closure. The outline fully incorporates the reopening guidance from the State Office of Religious and Independent Schools. To promote accessibility, reopening plans must be posted as HTML text directly onto a web page on the school’s public website and not as a PDF, Word document, Google Doc or other format. Include (on the web page) information about whom to contact if someone has difficulty accessing the plan.

While the template includes sample text, all text should be reviewed and customized by local school officials in accordance with the school-specific reopening plans and procedures. 


August 7, 2020

Dear Families,

We are pleased to share with you an overview of our proposed plans for reopening our school for the 20-21 school year.  The Education Department of the State of New York has provided us with 145 pages of standards they prepared as a guideline for our plan.  We also received a further set of standards from the Office of Independent and Religious Schools at the Education Department and a third set from the New York State Department of Health.  We were allowed two weeks to complete two final proposals.  Needless to say, we’ve been busy!

These proposals address virtually every aspect of our school program and physical plant, including aspects of safety for our children, as well as appropriate social and emotional elements that “in person” programs feature.

Part of the Education Department’s process included the assembly of a re-opening committee to review and provide feedback on the plan from several viewpoints including parents, teachers, staff, etc.  We met for that effort on Tuesday evening, July 28, 30th and August 6th.

Much thought and hard work have gone into the development of plans for re-opening our school in September. Our overarching goals always include the safety of your children and the effectiveness of our educational program.  We believe that we have maintained (and even enhanced) our programs here, and that we will be able to offer our families a safe, secure and happy environment for successful learning at St. Francis de Sales School.

Please do know that the plans we have forwarded to you may need to be changed or improved as new guidelines are published.  If, after reading this plan, you have any  questions, please feel free to contact Mrs. Becky Marzeski at 315-866-4831.


Mrs. Becky Marzeski, Director

Rev. Mark Cunningham, Pastor


On Monday, July 13, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that schools in New York can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region.  

On Friday, August 7, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced, “Every region in New York State is well below our COVID infection limit, therefore all schools in New York are authorized to open.” 

Determinations will be made by regions about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close.

While schools have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the school is also planning for remote/distance learning, as well as for a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Parents will always have the choice to remain in the remote learning model.   If any Parent/Guardian decides to change plans, they would need to contact the school’s office at 315-866-4831 and arrangements will be made to do so.

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of St. Francis deSales Early Childhood Learning Center for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to the school campus. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Reopening Guidance for Religious and Independent Schools, the Religious Services Guidelines on the New York Forward website and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our school. 

Rebecca Marzeski will serve as the school’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Rebecca will ensure all protocols are implemented.  She will serve as a central contact for stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the school is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines.   These plans are prefaced with an introductory letter which includes Rebecca Marzeski’s contact information

Content Outline

  • Communication/Family and Community Engagement

    • School Closure 

  • Health and Safety  

    • Health Checks

    • Health Hygiene Practices 

    • Social Distancing

    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings

    • Management of Ill Persons, Contact Tracing and Monitoring

    • Cleaning and Disinfecting

    • School Safety Drills 

    • Vulnerable Populations/Accommodations  

    • Visitors on Campus  

  • Facilities Guidance

    • Infection Control Strategies

    • School Safety and Emergency Drills

  • Child Nutrition 

    • Meals Onsite 

    • Meals Offsite/Remote

    • School Food Authorities (SFA) 

  • Transportation Guidance-Not applicable to SFDECLC

    • School Bus

    • School Bus Staff

    • Students on Transportation

  • Social Emotional Well-Being 

  • Religious and Independent School Schedules-Not applicable to SFDECLC

  • Attendance

  • Teaching and Learning 

    • In-person Instruction  

    • Remote/Hybrid Instruction

    • Technology and Connectivity 

  • Athletics and Schools Activities-Not applicable to SFDECLE

    • Liturgy

    • Faith Formation

    • Extracurriculars

    • Childcare

    • Interscholastic Athletics

  • Bilingual Education and World Languages-Not applicable to SFDECLC

  • Key References