District Rules Out Full-Time School
By Peter Jovanovich
At the Rye City School District’s August 4 meeting, school officials explained that it will not be feasible to provide all-day schooling this fall because of health concerns. Rather, the District is focusing its planning on a “hybrid” instruction plan that entails educating one-half of the student body at a time.
As Superintendent Dr. Eric Byrne, explained in a note to the paper, “One of the more significant challenges we are facing is that the social distancing requirements coupled with our facilities and enrollment necessitate splitting the number of students in half. This enables us to provide for the appropriate 6- or 12-foot social distance between students depending on the class in order to meet the requirement from the New York State Department of Education.”
Under a hybrid plan, as outlined in the Board of Education’s “A Path Forward in Learning,” half the students at a school will attend in-person classes on campus for a set number of times/days per week while the others will take online classes from home. Then the students will alternate. One day a week, all students will participate in distance learning while teachers are provided time for planning, collaborating, and professional learning while the school buildings are cleaned.
New York State has also asked each school district to provide a completely online alternative. Within the Remote Learning Model, students will participate in a variety of online opportunities throughout the week. Some of the remote learning activities will be asynchronous, such as prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks. Some lessons will be synchronous (learning that happens at the same time for the instructor and the students, with real-time interaction between them).
Whether or not the Rye City School District offers hybrid or remote learning, or both for that matter, depends on what Governor Cuomo decides will be State educational policy during the Covid-19 emergency. It is expected he will make an announcement August 7.