Albion looking to have students be in school every day at elementary level

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 July 2020 at 9:23 am

Middle and high school students may go alternate days in hybrid model

File photo by Tom Rivers: Students are quick to get off the bus on the first day of school at Albion in this photo from Sept. 7, 2016.

ALBION – The school district on Wednesday updated the community about a reopening plan that needs to be filed with the state on Friday.

Albion and the 700 other school districts have until Friday to submit the plans to the state Education Department. Districts need to develop plans for in-person learning, a hybrid model with both in-person and remote learning, and a plan for on-line only.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will review the plans and make an announcement by Aug. 7 whether school districts will be allowed for in-person instruction.

School districts were forced to go to on-line only beginning on March 16 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The school buildings didn’t open again to students for the rest of the school year.

In a Q & A posted on the district website, Albion said the reopening plan will be posted on the school website on Friday.

The district said it is pushing to have students in prekindergarten through grade 6 to be able to attend in-person classes each day.

“By converting some rooms used for special areas and supports into classroom space, we may be able to have all of the students attend and still be able to use social distancing in classrooms,” the district said. “That is likely not going to be the case at the 7-12 level.”

At the 7-12 level, Albion is planning a hybrid manner of instruction with a group of students attending one day, and another group the next day.

“We are still working out the format that best fits for all of the needs of our students,” the district stated.

Families will have the option to keep their children home from school for remote instruction, even if in-person schooling is offered.

“We understand that there are reasons why a family would want to keep their child home and so, we will offer the opportunity for remote or virtual learning whether we can bring students in or not,” the district stated.

Albion will be surveying parents to determine the preference for in-person learning or remote.

The district said the school schedule will be a similar format as last year. However, Albion plans to stagger arrival and dismissal times to avoid students entering and leaving the building in a group.

“More specific information will be shared with families later in August after we get word from the governor regarding the format that we will be able to plan on to start the school year,” the district said.

The big difference for the 2020-21 school year will be the social aspect for students, with social distancing and mask wearing.

“The same requirements will prevent students from gathering in hallways between classes or having close conversation at lunch time,” the district said. “We are looking at other ways to allow students to socialize with one another, but whatever we come up with will look different than what they are used to.”

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