Batavia City School District Return to School Guidelines

Dear Batavia City School District Parents and Guardians:

We are excited to welcome students and staff back to school starting on Tuesday, September 7. As part of our reopening plans, we want to outline our priorities and guidelines for the start of the school year:  

Batavia City School District Priorities

  1. Creating a healthy and safe environment for our students and staff
  2. Providing our students with the best possible education in a healthy and safe environment

The Batavia City School District will continue to implement practices that support these priorities. The district will also follow any New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) mandates.

Overview of Guidelines: 

All students, PreK-12, will begin the school year with in-person instruction five days a week. 

Physical distancing will be implemented to the extent possible, but not to the extent that it excludes students from in-person learning to meet a minimum distance requirement.

Physical Distancing

There will be at least three (3) feet of physical distance between students within the school setting (e.g., classrooms, cafeteria, and physical education), to the extent possible.

There are exceptions to the three (3) foot rule, where instead, a minimum of six (6) feet distance must still be maintained: 

  • Between adults (teachers, staff, visitors) and between students and adults, when possible

  • When individuals are participating in activities that require projecting the voice (e.g., singing) or playing a wind instrument

  • Between performers and the audience during performances and concerts


Masks will be worn by students, faculty, staff, service providers, and all other visitors to the school buildings at all times, regardless of vaccination status, except for while consuming food or beverages and during outdoor instruction. 

Masks are not required for students and staff while outside of the building (e.g. recess, physical education, athletic contests).

Acceptable masks, as defined by the NYSDOH, include but are not limited to cloth-based masks and surgical masks that fit snuggly and cover both the mouth and nose.  

Faculty, staff, students and visitors are required to wear acceptable masks:

  • At the bus stop and while loading, unloading, and riding the school bus

  • While entering the building

  • Inside school buildings and district facilities

  • In classrooms

  • In any common spaces (including but not limited to: foyer, library cafeteria restrooms, hallways, copy rooms, faculty rooms, offices)

  • In tightly confined spaces (e.g., offices, therapy rooms, and small classrooms) occupied by more than one individual at a time

  • When there is more than one occupant in a district vehicle

Students and staff who cannot safely wear a mask because of a disability or medical condition should request a reasonable accommodation to this requirement. The request must be submitted to the building principal, accompanied by written documentation from a physician or licensed medical provider detailing the condition.

Employees and students should bring their own mask. However, disposable masks will also be available.

Teachers will be able to provide mask breaks for students as needed in a manner that minimizes exposure to other students. For example: when students are seated and doing independent work that doesn’t require talking with other students.

COVID-19 Symptoms

If a student or staff member exhibits any of the COVID symptoms he or she should not report to school that day. Those symptoms include:

  • Fever, chill

  • Shortness of breath

  • Sore throat

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Headache

  • Loss of appetite

  • Cough

  • Nasal congestion

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches 

If a staff member or student comes to school, it is understood that the symptoms above were not present when leaving for school. 

If a staff member or student has one or more of these symptoms, there is a requirement to obtain a negative COVID test or wait ten days prior to the staff member or student reentering a school district building.


The Genesee County Department of Health (GCDOH) uses the close contact definition along with the duration of exposure, proximity, and presence of symptoms to determine who is an exposed contact and therefore subject to quarantine.  (See Genesee County Department of Health guidelines for quarantine)

Schools are required to cooperate with contact tracers to determine close contacts and compile contact information. GCDOH will notify parents and staff who are considered to be those contacts exposed to a COVID-19 case. The guidance attached with this document outlines quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated close contacts.

Food Service 

The food service department will serve breakfast and lunch at each building every day. All district families are eligible for free meals, at no cost to students. A remote meal pickup option will not be provided. 


  • Will wear masks while proceeding through the meal service area and into the dining areas 

  • Will be seated in the dining area with at least three (3) feet between them, to the extent possible 

  • Can remove masks once seated. If a student leaves their seating area for any reason (bathroom, dispose of garbage, purchase additional items, etc.), a mask must be worn 

Meals may be served in alternate areas and/or meal periods may be staggered in order to achieve physical distancing. 


Transportation staff and students will be required to wear facial coverings at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Masks must be worn while loading, unloading, and riding the school bus. Windows will be opened on the bus when weather conditions allow.


Visitors to all district buildings will be limited. 

In general, the buildings will be open only to district students, employees, service providers, contractors, and delivery people. Parents, building/classroom volunteers, and other guests will be allowed under certain circumstances, determined by the building administration. 

All visitors will be required to wear a face-covering in the same manner required for students and staff. Disposable masks will be available for those who need one. All visitors will also be expected to maintain appropriate physical distancing. 


Staff meetings will be held virtually when appropriate. In-person meetings for adults will be held with six (6) feet of physical distance and masks will be required to be worn for the duration of the meeting.

To download and print our BCSD Return to School Overview of Guidelines, click here.

We look forward to welcoming you back to school next week! Until then, wishing you a safe and healthy final week of summer break. 


Scott Bischoping

Interim Superintendent

Batavia City School District