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Superintendent Jeff Simons virtual presentation on opening day

Superintendent Jeff Simons welcomes faculty and staff back to school during a virtual presentation on Monday morning.

Teachers and staff returned to the East Greenbush Central School District on Monday morning for the first Superintendent’s Conference Day and the start of a new school year. It was an early indication that school will look different this year. Instead of all 750 employees coming together in the Columbia High School auditorium, staff reported to their classrooms and offices around the district to watch the opening day presentations virtually.

“As we open up the year, we are certainly opening up under extraordinary circumstances,” Superintendent Jeff Simons said during his welcome address. “Some of those circumstances include a range of different concerns, a range of different views as far as the reopening is happening and it’s important to remember, no matter where you are at, whether you are excited to come back to school, whether you are nervous to come back to school, whether you are fearful to come back to school, all of those emotions are valid. Hopefully as we move into the reopening those feelings will help us and guide us to making sure that we can provide the best quality education for our students that we can, and that we can do so with extra vigilance to make sure that all of us are safe and our children are safe.”

Mr. Simons thanked everyone involved in developing the Reopening Plans this summer, including members of the Reopening Task Force and the administrative team, as well as, officers from each of the bargaining units who have offered their input.

During his welcome address, Mr. Simons offered three themes of success for the year ahead:
  • Work within your circle of influence to impact students and colleagues in positive ways
  • Take things one day at a time by working in day tight compartments and measure daily successes
  • Appreciate your situation regardless of circumstances – we are able to serve the kids and the community

“Although the opening is different, it can be an opportunity for our East Greenbush community to shine and celebrate all the good we bring to our students and our families every day,” said Mr. Simons.

After the welcome address, staff watched a policy presentation, safety presentation and a keynote address on the topic of Education Law 2-d.

East Greenbush schools are scheduled to open on Monday, September 14 with most students returning to school through a hybrid model which includes a blend of in-person and remote learning. Approximately 775 students will be participating in a full remote option at the request of their parents.

Teachers and staff will be attending meetings and participating in professional development through next week.

To learn more about the East Greenbush Central School District reopening plans, visit