WATERTOWN — As school districts across the nation plan for an unprecedented upcoming school year, three more north country school districts have announced their plans, which are subject to change per state mandates as time goes on.
Watertown City School District:
In the Watertown City School District, families will have two options for the 2020-21 school year: a full-time remote instructional model, where students will learn from their teachers at home, or an in-person model, which will be a hybrid schedule due to health and safety requirements.
On Friday, a more detailed plan will be posted that will include all of the required mandates put forth by the state Education Department and state Department of Health in order for schools to reopen in the fall. According to a letter from the district, many of the community’s questions will be addressed in Friday’s plan, which is still being finalized, but will be subject to changes as federal and state requirements and guidance change.
In the letter, it was noted that the district opted for the Monday and Thursday as well as the Tuesday and Friday split. The buildings will be deeply cleaned each day, and there will be frequent cleanings of multiple locations, such as bathrooms, throughout the day as well.
For students who attend in person, the split ensures that teachers and students will connect with each other in person every three days. Students will experience a regular schedule.
Sackets Harbor Central School District:
The district is still in the process of determining what pre-k will look like, but at any given time, just nine students would be in the room.
As for kindergarten, students will be temporarily split into two smaller cohorts per classroom and will officially start school on Sept. 14, attending two days a week, either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday to allow for a successful transition to school. Starting the day after Columbus Day, they will attend with their whole class Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
First through sixth grades will attend school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with K-6 attending on a staggered schedule from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wednesdays will be online learning days for all students.
In a video posted to the district’s website detailing plans, it was announced that a reopening information center website will go live the week of Aug. 11 with more detailed information about the plans for the upcoming year.
Fifty percent of students in grades 7-12 will attend in person on any given school day; one group will attend Monday and Thursday and then will be virtual all other days, with the other group going virtual Monday through Thursday and meeting in person Tuesday and Friday.
Teachers and staff will be working in the building every day Monday through Friday.
Copenhagen Central School District:
In a letter from the district, it was announced that the school district is planning, and sincerely hoping, to welcome all students back to the school building on Sept. 8 for in-person instruction.
“Our space is large enough and our student population small enough to satisfy all of the safety requirements laid out in the 145-page NYSED reopening plan guidance document,” the letter reads.
In grades K-8, they will cohort all students in groups of no more than 16. No cohort will interact with another at any time during the day, and all students will be able to practice social distancing with the required six feet of separation when in their seats at their assigned desks.
According to the letter, the high school schedule is too complex to cohort students because of the different graduation paths all students have, but they can achieve six feet of separation at all times in classrooms with cleaning and disinfecting occurring between every period.
Detailed plans will be sent to the state Education Department on Friday with hopes that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gives the green light to reopen. Those with questions or concerns can call 315-688-4411.