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Schools prepare reopening plans

Kumi Tucker
Updated: July 07, 2020 07:42 PM
Created: July 07, 2020 06:32 PM

School superintendents all around the region are sharing questions and ideas. Plans include a hybrid of remote learning and in-class instruction, but there are questions about things like class-size. 

The school buildings look the same, but it may be a very different school experience. 

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District officials have been coming up with all sorts of plans, trying to be ready for any contingency. 

Many are working to especially bring back the youngest students.

"We want to make sure we can bring our elementary school students back because we know it provides child care for parents, we know that it provides in a high needs district like Watervliet it provides food, they get two free meals a day," said Assistant Watervliet School Superintendent Don Stevens. 
 
They also want to establish learning patterns early. 

Schalmont is learning from how its summer school is going. 

"We're also currently right now running an in-session live summer school, to kind of do a little bit of a litmus test to see what that might look like, so right now we have a live summer school, for about 32 special needs students," said Dr. Tom Reardon, Schalmont superintendent. 

Plans include hybrids, a mix of in-school and remote instruction, or split schedules, with some coming one day, others the next. Students could do remote learning and come in for hands-on classes, like science labs. 

They're dealing with hypotheticals, not knowing the regulations, or the state of the health crisis.

"We need a little bit of guidance, we need some guidelines on what this might look like. There's been a lot of talk about the number of students that can be in a space, whether that be 10 students in a space or whether that be socially-distanced students. It's very different. The number looks very different," said Stevens. 

"Online instruction, hybrid instruction, it's not the same as having all your students K-12 on campus," said Dr. Reardon. "So we're really aiming for the goal here at Schalmont of how do we plan for maybe elementary, but how do we plan to return everybody back to these buildings and make sure they have a chance to access the things we built for them, put in place for them, which mean they are in school." 

With all the different plans, districts also need to factor in things like sports, plus what would happen if there's a coronavirus positive case in school.
 


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