More schools roll out reopening plans

School districts have a Friday deadline to submit plans for reopening to the state Department of Education. File photo

NORFOLK — With a Friday deadline to submit their plans to the state Education Department, more local school districts are developing proposed reopening plans for the fall.

Among the latest to roll out their plans are Parishville-Hopkinton and Edwards-Knox.

In the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District, the members of the PHCS School Reopening Task Force are scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, after they’ve had an opportunity to explore hybrid model reopening and talk to as many school stakeholders as possible.

“Our number one guiding principle is keeping students, staff and families safe,” administrators said in a social media update. “Each school’s reopening plan will need to be responsive to the community that it serves, which is why PHCS has a representative stakeholder task force advising it. No two school reopening plans will be identical because each school building is different.”

Those variables between schools include square footage of classroom spaces, the width of hallways and stairwells, student enrollment, the at-risk population, free and reduced lunch recipients, special education students, homeless students, fiscal climate and the number of school buses.

“The PHCS administration made a recommendation to the Task Force to explore reopening using a hybrid model (part in-person, part remote instruction). Under a hybrid model students would be in the building two days a week, supplementing that with three days of remote instruction,” administrators said.

They said the building would be open four days a week with half of the students present. The building would be aired out on the fifth day and used as a remote learning day for all students.

“This would ensure that at no point would the school exceed 50 percent student capacity on any given day greatly improving the ability to effectively maintain social distancing,” they said.

Edwards-Knox Central School Superintendent Erin E. Woods updated community members via a social media posting.

Under the proposal, grades pre-kindergarten to six would attend in-person four days a week, with a full return to five days a week on Sept. 21. Students would stay in their classroom to minimize interactions with other student populations, but can work in alternative locations with staff to minimize gathering sizes as appropriate.

“We will be implementing a full year semestering schedule for students in grades 7-12, which will limit the number of class changes during the day and allow students to focus on fewer subject areas at a time. We will divide students into grade levels groups and rotate in-person and remote learning each day until September 21st, then we will make a full return for all students 5 days per week,” Ms. Woods said.

Career and technical education students would attend Southwest Tech five days a week on their regular schedule. All special education students would attend in-person instruction five days a week on their regular schedule.

She said a matrix would determine how successful students were with remote learning after schools went to distance learning in mid-March, and students who weren’t successful will attend in-person five days a week.

“Our planning approach was guided by the feedback, ideas, and directives from these groups and we weighed all concerns seriously in our decisions. I understand that there is no one-size-fits-all plan and some members of our school community will not be pleased with this plan. I welcome conversations with parents, students, and staff members over the coming weeks,” Ms. Woods said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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