Hermon-DeKalb plans reopening

DEKALB JUNCTION — All students in the Hermon-DeKalb Central School District will return for in-classroom instruction in the fall under the proposed reopening plan.

Superintendent Mark White said they had three models to choose from, including the in-person instruction.

“This is the plan we will start with at the beginning of the year in September. This plan allows us to bring all students back to the building for instruction,” he said in a video message to the community.

Another option is hybrid, which is a combination of in-person and remote learning. The hybrid model would be used if they were required to reduce student numbers in the building, Mr. White said.

The third option is total remote learning, which would be used if they were required to close the school or the families decide it would be the best option for their students.

Under their proposal, “social distancing requirements, face mask and building protocols are all part of this plan. Classroom, food service and transportation are also modified,” Mr. White said.

Movement in the building will be restricted to assigned times to ensure everyone’s safety.

“Fortunately, our district size allows our students to socially distance in the building. Other districts are not able to accomplish this due to their large student population,” he said.

In grades pre-kindergarten to six, their dismissal would remain at 3 p.m., and they would still have special area classes such as art and physical education. Lunch and breakfast would be served in classrooms, and outdoor recess would be weather-permitting.

Staff will be asked to complete a health screening prior to school, and parents will be asked to check their children’s temperatures before sending them to school.

The school will provide thermometers to families that don’t have them. Masks must be worn on the buses and in school, and students will be kept together as a cohort as much as possible.

If the district went to a hybrid schedule, pre-kindergarten through grade six would meet in person five days a week, and grades seven through 12 would have two days of in-classroom instruction and three days of remote learning, which would include Monday for all of those students.

“BOCES will attend their CTE (Career and Technical Education) five days a week,” Mr. White said.

The virtual option would have all students attending remotely every day, following the same daily schedule as the one in school.

“Parents have the option of virtual learning in place of in-person,” he said.

Those students must be self-starters, and families must ensure those students are learning at the same rate as their in-school classes. Attendance is mandatory and will be taken daily and there will be real-time instruction. Families will need high-speed internet access because no packets or activities will be sent home.

Mr. White said parents will be asked the week of Aug. 10 if they will be sending their children back to school or participating in remote learning.

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