More Expansion of In-Person Instruction Beginning on or about March 8 for Grades 1-6

“I am pleased to report that we were able to develop another plan which expands in-person learning while maintaining 6-feet distancing. Essentially our new plan enables all students in grades 1-6  to have 5 days of in-person instruction every other week and maintains their current in-person schedule on the other week.”
 
Over the past few weeks as the number of quarantined staff has been diminishing, the District Administrative staff have been examining ways to phase in and expand in-person student learning for the children on a hybrid schedule. We began by reducing the A/B/C schedule at the High School to A/B effective February 8th. Additionally, due to the low number of Kindergarten students, we will be able to bring the Kindergarten students back 4 days per week effective February 22, and then eliminate Virtual Wednesdays at the K-8 level effective March 1. 
 
The central administration along with the principals and staff explored combining Cohorts A & B at all levels. In spite of the fact that a large segment of our district population chose all-remote and there were empty seats in many classrooms, we found there were too many classrooms where combining cohorts increased class size well above the limit required to maintain 6 feet between desks.
 
This data forced us to brainstorm other possibilities. I am pleased to report the following:  we were able to develop another plan which expands in-person learning while maintaining 6-feet distancing. Essentially our new plan enables all students in grades 1-6 to have 5 days of in-person instruction every other week and maintains their current in-person schedule on the other week. 
 
For grades 1-6 we divided cohorts A and B into 2 sections

  1. Cohort A= A1 + A2
  2. Cohort B= B1 + B2

 
Keep in mind that A or B includes all students presently in those cohorts.  A1 and A2 each represent ½ the students in Cohort A. Cohort B includes all students in the B Cohort. B1 and B2 represent ½ the students in Cohort B.

More information and specific schedules will follow. In general, the following is what families of in-person students in grades 1-6 could expect. 

On rotating weeks, half of Cohort A and B will join the other cohort.
By way of an example, below is a mock schedule.  

Week 1 Schedule                                    Week 2 Schedule
Monday A + B1                                        Monday A + B2
Tuesday A + B1                                       Tuesday A + B2
Wednesday A + B1                                  Wednesday B+ A2
Thursday B + A1                                      Thursday B + A2
Friday B + A1                                           Friday B + A2

The district is finalizing a calendar in an effort to balance the number of in-person days for each cohort for the remainder of the school year.

Additional note: the regular A/B schedule for students will remain intact while ½ of the other cohorts will be added in to maximize available spaces.

We are excited about the prospect of implementing these changes and look forward to welcoming our students on a more frequent basis. Be assured the administration is actively examining additional ways of expanding instruction for students of grades 7-12.   

Stay well,
Dr. Thomas Ficarra
 

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