Important Update Regarding the District's School Reopening Plan
August 3, 2020
Last month, the governor announced guidelines for schools to open in the fall. School districts were required to submit reopening plans that include options for in-person instruction at school, online instruction at home, and a combination of both, with the Governor making the final determination by August 7th.
Since that announcement, District teams and committees made up of administrators, directors, teachers, and staff, as well as the Board of Education, have been working to develop a school reopening plan that meets the needs of our students while complying with guidance from the New York State Education Department and New York State Health Department. Our goal has been to create a plan that gets students back to school and includes significant measures to safeguard the health of our students and staff.
Parent input has also been crucial as we developed our plan. We received 665 responses to our parent survey. The key findings were:
- families want the option to keep their child(ren) home and participate in 100% online remote learning;
- online remote instruction should include live instruction with teachers;
- significant safeguards should be in place to maximize safety for students and staff; and
- we must continue to improve on the practices that worked during last year’s closure and ask for parent feedback as this school year progresses. (93% of respondents approved of the job the District did during the closure)
I believe our plan addresses each of these findings and provides a solid framework to prepare for the uncertainties of the coming school year.
Below is a summary of our plan. Our building principals will be sending out additional information regarding the plan specific to each school. Please be aware that the plan could change based on Governor Cuomo’s impending announcement.
Teaching and Learning
- Parents may opt to keep their child(ren) home and participate in 100% online remote learning with PACS teachers. To request this, please complete the Remote Learning Commitment Survey available here August 10th; we will need this information to plan middle-high school cohorts and elementary class lists.
- Special education and 504 students pk-12 will attend school in person every day.
- Elementary students (pk-5) will attend school in person every day.
- Middle-High School Students (6-12) will be divided into two cohorts and attend school on Monday-Tuesday and every other Wednesday OR Thursday-Friday and every other Wednesday. Students will be responsible for signing into Google Meet video streaming of lessons for core classes (ELA, science, social studies, math, Spanish) on the days that they are not attending in person. Wednesdays will be devoted to remediation and enrichment; no new instruction or assessments will be given outside of college-level courses.
- Middle-High School will be separated into two cohorts based on their location in the school district, sibling groups, course schedule, Citi classes, and spacing needs within the building. Students will be notified of their cohort when they receive their schedule during the second week of August.
Technology & Connectivity
- Every student will be assigned a chromebook for in school use and remote online instruction.
- Community wifi access points and mobile hotspots will be deployed to ensure access.
Health & Safety
- Students and staff will be screened daily for symptoms of COVID-19 including temperature checks. Anyone with symptoms will be isolated and evaluated in the health office.
- If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the school will be closed and the District will follow guidance from the Oswego County Health Department.
- Students and staff will wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible or assured. This includes the hallways, bathrooms, and school bus.
- Classrooms will be set up so that students may remove face coverings at their desks.
- Frequent hand washing will be promoted and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the district in public areas and instructional spaces.
- Common areas, bathrooms, and all high touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day by cleaning staff.
- Classroom desks, tables, and other high touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected daily and between cohorts of students.
- Buses will be cleaned and disinfected after each trip.
- Each school will be cleaned and disinfected every evening by cleaning staff.
- Students will receive temperature checks before they board the school bus.
- Students must wear face coverings while on the bus.
- Students will sit one to a seat unless they are members of the same household. In that case they will be required to sit together to maximize space.
- Elementary students will eat lunch in their classrooms. Middle-High School students will eat lunch in the cafeteria and gym.
- Frozen meals will be available for middle-high school students to purchase for their remote learning days.
- Families who choose 100% remote instruction should contact the Food Services Office at 315.298.5103 to make arrangements to purchase meals from the cafeteria.
The complete NYS Reopening Plan, along with other COVID-19 related information, can be found on the COVID-19 Updates page on the school website.
We are fully aware that no plan will achieve all that we hope for under the circumstances, but we remain committed to doing all we can to provide for the students and families of our school district. Please do not hesitate to contact my office or your child’s school with questions.
Tom Jennings, Superintendent