Rochester City School District OKs plan for reopening schools

The Rochester City School District Board of Education has approved Superintendent Leslie Myers-Small’s hybrid model plan for reopening schools in the district.

The proposed model was presented during a business meeting Nov. 19 and expands on the plans announced in October for student in specialized programs. Implementation of the model is set to begin Jan. 4, 2021, after winter break and will be rolled out in three phases.

During the first phase, kindergarten through grade 8 students with disabilities who are in specialized programs will return to their home schools, with the exception of East High School and Franklin Lower School. Students in grades 7 through 12 would go to Edison Career and Technology High School, East High and Franklin Lower. These students will attend in-person instruction four days a week. During that time, all other students in prekindergarten through grade 12 would remain remote.

RCSD also will continue to provide support to English language learners and all students enrolled in bilingual programming by providing hybrid and/or distance-learning models, consistent with students’ grade level sand individual needs as determined by formative and summative assessments. In addition, ELL classes and support will be provided to the greatest extent possible while prioritizing the health and safety of both students and staff. To accomplish this, students will be provided English as a new language services through face-to-face, Zoom, Google Teams or a hybrid model.

The second phase is set to begin in February, with both general and special education students in prekindergarten through grade 6 attending their home schools. Students in grades 7 through 12 in specialized programs would remain at Edison, East and Franklin Lower, while students in grades 7 through 12 in regular and special education would remain remote.

The final phase would welcome back all students in grades 7 through 12 to attend their home schools — general and special education students, hybrid students and those who receive specialized services. A date for this phase has not yet been set.

Myers-Small noted that all families will be given the option to remain 100 percent remote learning.

The structure of the back-to-school plan was designed with information collected from parents, collaboration between school leaders, input from the entire community and the support of Monroe County health officials has helped to guide the district in preparation for the commencement of the 2021 school year.

“We must continue to provide meaningful instruction during this pandemic. While we would love to bring all of our students back into school buildings, this is the smartest decision to ensure the health and safety of students, their families, and our staff,” Myers-Small said in an Oct. 29 statement

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