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WCSD 2020-21 Opening Letter

July 31, 2020

Dear Washingtonville Parents/Guardians,

During the week of August 3-7, Governor Cuomo is expected to make a decision about whether or not schools will reopen in September. In preparation for this possibility, all school districts in New York state are required to propose a plan for in-person return of students, as well as instructional models for Fully Virtual and Hybrid of in-person and virtual while following the NYS Department of Health Guidelines and NYSED Guidelines for Reopening. Schools are required to submit the Re-entry Plan to NYS by Friday, July 31, 2020.

WCSD’s Re-entry Plan was developed with careful consideration, adherence to guidelines, and the goal of returning students and staff to a safe learning environment. Early on we established Re-entry Task Force Committees made up of school leaders, staff, Board of Education members, and parents. The committees as a whole were charged with reviewing current practices and protocols and developing plans that will allow the district to re-open, in some way, while also adhering to the NYS and DOH guidelines. Through two districtwide surveys, we sought parent and teacher input that was also used to help the district develop plans.

Using the data collected from the surveys, parents stated that they would prefer that their children be on similar schedules if following a Hybrid instructional model that includes in person and virtual instruction. We recognize that the instructional model included in the plan has challenges and benefits, depending on your children’s and family’s needs. Developing the different instructional plans has proven to be a complex balancing act that involves incorporating many moving parts including, but not limited to, health guidelines; parent, student and staff concerns; protocols for masks and health screenings; and physical space limitations, to name a few.

The District is in the preliminary stages of finalizing it’s plan and will be focusing on the following  Hybrid instructional model listed below:

  • Pre-K to Grade 2 students would attend school in person Tuesday-Friday adhering to social distancing mandates and requirements, with virtual learning on Monday.
  • Grade 3 to Grade 12 students will be following a Hybrid model with students in cohorts based on their last name/families of A-L and will be attending school on Tuesday and Wednesday in person with virtual learning on Monday, Thursday and Friday each week.
  • Grade 3 to Grade 12 students will be following a Hybrid model with students in cohorts based on their last name/families of M-Z and will be attending school on Thursday and Friday in person with virtual learning on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week.
  • K to Grade 12 students in need of highly intensive programs (Aspire students, 12:1:1 classes, 12:1:4 classes, and our ENL students) would attend school in person during the week adhering to social distancing mandates and requirements with virtual learning on Monday.
  • For families that do not wish to participate in our Hybrid model, students will have the opportunity to enroll in our All Virtual Learning Institute.

When creating the school schedules for each level, our workday and instructional times needed to be adjusted to allow for a staggered schedule of students into school buildings to meet DOH and NYSED social distancing guidelines. The following are the adjusted school hours:

HS and MS School Hours: 

7:28 am - 2:11 pm

Elementary School Hours:

K-5: 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

AM Pre-K: 8:50 am - 11:20 am

PM Pre-K: 12:15 pm - 2:45 pm

In addition, to allow time for collaboration between teachers and their departments/grade levels and mandatory health and safety training we will be adjusting our school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. We will be utilizing our four Superintendent’s Conference Days from September 1- September 4. All students will now begin school on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. 

We know that this most unusual situation we are living in weighs heavily on parents’ minds as they are being asked to decide how they will be sending their children to school in the fall - Hybrid or Fully Virtual. After the master plan is submitted to NYS on July 31, we will begin defining the details of the plan that will be necessary to make this all actually work. Please take the time to read through the Washingtonville Central School District Reopening Plan in preparation for our return to school in September. Our plan will also be posted on the district website. The plan may provide some clarity and guidance in helping you make your decision.

As part of the final planning process, parents will be asked to complete a questionnaire to select an instructional model for each of your children by Friday, August 7, 2020, at the following link: Parent/Guardian Questionnaire for Re-Entry. We ask that parents commit to the choice selected until January 29, 2021, the end of the first semester. Please contact the building principals for any questions or additional information. 

We appreciate your feedback and input that helped us develop our re-entry plan, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to define other parts of it. It’s at times like this, when faced with an incredible obstacle, that our community’s support system shines brightly. It lets us know that we are all in this together and we are there for each other.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Larry Washington, Superintendent of Schools

First page of the PDF file: WCSDOpeningLetterforCommunity_Web-basedPlan