COVID-19 School Report Card goes live

Private schools must now comply
Posted at 5:37 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 19:10:08-04

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) — All schools across New York State are now required to report date for the COVID-19 School Report Card.

Public schools state-wide began implementing data into the on-line database September 8th.

Cardinal O'Hara High School students changing class Monday.

Private and Catholic schools will now be required to fill out a report.

“The first information we received was that private schools were not going to be completing this survey and late Friday afternoon we received other information that said yes — you are,” declared Mary Holzerland, principal, Cardinal O’Hara High School, Town of Tonawanda.

At Cardinal O’Hara High School students are back to school for in-person learning.

Principal Holzerland says initially private and Catholic schools were omitted from the state's COVID report card.

Mary Holzerland, principal, Cardinal O’Hara High School, Town of Tonawanda, says the school is preparing data for state COVID report card.

But as of Monday, O’Hara will begin implementing information into the state-wide system.

The New York State Health Department issued an email to 7 Eyewitness News saying all schools in the state are “required” to repot data.

“Private school data collection is beginning this week and will be live on the dashboard next week,” stated NYSDOH.

You can search the state’s COVID-19 Report Card by typing in a school name or by a public school address.

For example, we know right now that in the Amherst Central School District there are at least two reported COVID cases.

When you type in the school district, Amherst Central High School and Amherst Middle School each report one positive COVID case.

But right now, a reported case at St. Mark School, a Catholic elementary school in north Buffalo, is not appearing on the state report.

Outside St. Mark School in north Buffalo.

When you type in the school address, only Buffalo Public schools appear in that zip code.

Cardinal O’hara's principal says she believes private and Catholic schools could be scrambling to fill out the information.

“We just found got the information — we didn't have any preparation really so I think people are still getting it all set up,” Holzerland said.

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Inside hallway at Cardinal O'Hara High School.

Schools are required to update the report card each day at 3 p.m. The O’Hara principal says she is pleased her school is able to fill out the report.

"I have no problem with that. I think whatever we need to do to keep all of our faculty staff and students safe and their families at home,” replied Holzerland.

O’Hara’s school nurse would collect the data. The nurse is provided through the Kenmore-Tonawanda School District.

“Any cases — God forbid — we would have would go through her (nurse). She would report both to Ken-Ton and the department of health,” explained Holzerland.

School entrance at Cardinal O'Hara High School.

The Erie County Health Department tells 7 Eyewitness News it will work with any school to help them “fulfill their state reporting requirements.”

As for the reported COVID case at St. Mark School, we received an email from the principal saying the Erie County Health Department reported the case to the school.

Outside St. Mark School in north Buffalo.

“We are following all of their guidelines and recommendations and have been in communication with our school community,” wrote Robert Clemens, principal.

For now, the principal declined an interview to discuss the COVID case.

Clemens also wrote that the school was informed Monday to submit information to the state's COVID Report Card site by 5 p.m. He said the school submitted the report Monday morning, indicating the one positive case.

As the State DOH indicated, all private school data will go live next week.