Full details on decision/plan for Reopening

Full details on decision/plans for Phased Reopening
Posted on 04/16/2021

Dear Families,

This week we spent much time making sense of the latest NYS Department of Health (DOH) guidelines for in-person instruction. If you missed that important guidance, here is a LINK. As we have said right along, our guiding principle has been and will always be what is best for our students. We are now ready to share our decision and plans, which will begin the week of May 3rd for K-6 students and April 26th for 7-12. First, I want to give another nod to our staff, which continues to pour their hearts into their work at every turn and shift of guidance.

This latest DOH directive permits our K-6 students to return for a full five days in-person by decreasing the requirement for physical distancing from 6 feet to 3 feet. Despite the short-term disruptions and challenges it creates, more time in-person aligns with the principle of doing our best for children. You will see more information below on our planned changes for elementary. To support our staff with this shift, Thursday, April 29th, and Friday, April 30th will become remote asynchronous learning days for grades K-6 only. This means all K-6 students will be provided with independent learning tasks for both days to complete at home. We know this leaves limited time for parents/guardians, but we must provide staff this time to complete the physical changes and planning required for full five-day instruction. Once we get past this last change of K-6 classrooms, we expect continuity of instruction for the rest of the year. The new DOH guidance does not reduce distancing given the current parameters for grades 7-12 students. Because of this, secondary students will remain in the current format with increased teacher contact planned for their remote days for the remainder of the school year.

More details about both the elementary and secondary learning models moving forward are below. If, after reading them, you have questions, please contact myself or your child's building principal. We understand that change can be stressful. Please remember that our staff continues to stand ready to support your children as needed. Whether it is a need related to this shift in learning models, COVID-related anxieties, or current issues in the community, contact your child's school counselor or principal for assistance. We are here to help. Thank you for your partnership!

GRADES K-6 UPDATE

We are looking forward to five-day, in-person instruction starting May 3rd for those families who have chosen that learning model. If your child is staying in the full-remote instruction model, they will also shift to five days of instruction with their remote teacher. To properly prepare our buildings and teachers for this change, Thursday, April 29th and Friday, April 30th will now be asynchronous learning days. Students will not attend school in person those two days or Wednesday, April 28th (already scheduled as a remote learning day). Teachers will provide at-home learning opportunities for core subjects on those three days.

That time is needed for our staff to move and rearrange furniture, organize materials and for planning and collaboration to accommodate students shifting programs. If you have questions, please reach out to Kim Cristal, our Interim Director of K-6 Instruction, or your building principal. Chrissy Miga, our Assistant Supt. for Instruction, Ms. Cristal and our elementary principals thank you for your support!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE K-6 PHASED REOPENING PLAN

GRADES 7-12 UPDATE

After reviewing and considering a variety of factors, including feedback from families and staff, our enrollment at Dake Jr. HS and Irondequoit HS and our comprehensive instructional plan for both schools, we will continue with our hybrid instructional model for the remainder of the school year while adding more synchronous instruction. Students will remain with the same Blue and Gold cohort models that they have been. More details are below. This begins the week of April 26th.

This decision also took into account the NYS Department of Health Guidance issued April 9th regarding teens – compared to elementary-age students – being more at risk of transmission of COVID-19, according to the CDC. You can read more on distancing recommendations and cohorts at the above link. We recognize that many of our students need greater structure and real-time instruction to reach proficiency or mastery with course content. To support them, we are asking that teachers increase synchronous instructional time when students are participating during remote instruction (at-home learning days).

The document via the link below details potential ways teachers will increase synchronous instruction throughout the 4th quarter. In addition, we work to provide additional targeted support opportunities for students on Wednesdays. Information about those opportunities will be forthcoming through building communication. We thank you for your continued partnerships as we navigate these unprecedented times.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact 7-12 Director of Instruction, Karen Finter, IHS Principal Alecia Zipp-McLaughlin or Dake Principal, Maryanne Heiman. Thank you for your support.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE 7-12 SPRING REOPENING PLAN

COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

Since our last communication on Monday, April 12th, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has reported two new cases in our District, both Irondequoit High School students. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPH Hotline at 753-5555.


Respectfully,

Link to graphic

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools