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Effective Tomorrow, December 15, 2020, Change to Full Remote Grade 6-12

Dear Clarkstown Community: 

We hope this communication finds you and your family members healthy and in good spirits.

As you know from prior communications, we desired to be in a hybrid model effective today through December 22, and planned accordingly to do so. However, through a combination of low attendance by students and staffing shortages, there is a need to make a shift at the secondary level in order to best meet the needs of the students we serve.

Effective tomorrow, December 15 through December 22,  we will be making the following changes to our school schedule for grades 6-12: 

  • FFMS will pivot to 100% remote learning 
  • NHS and SHS will pivot to 100% remote learning 

The Birchwood School, and all nine elementary schools will continue with current class schedules in person and hybrid, and arrangements for certain secondary special education groups are outlined below.

During this period of time for the 100% remote learning, students fully scheduled in the SPIRIT and STRIVE Programs will continue to receive in-school instruction at Festa.  At NHS, students in the ENL program, the 12:1:1 (PEC) program, and the Carousel and SAIL programs will be able to attend school in person daily.  At SHS, students in the SPIRIT and STRIVE programs will be able to attend school in person daily.  Staff assigned to these programs are expected to be in attendance unless:

  1. They are quarantined
  2. They are approved to work remotely
  3. They are using a personal or sick day 

The rationale behind the need to pivot to remote learning centers on very low numbers of students in attendance today for hybrid instruction and the increased number of students opting for remote instruction for the period of now until the holiday break. In addition, we had a significant number of staff members unavailable for in-person learning due to long term illness, requests for leave due to the lack of availability of their child care providers or their children’s districts being on remote instruction and need to quarantine due to travel restrictions, exposure to positive cases of themselves or their family members 

Specifically, at Felix Festa Middle School, only 164 students out of a possible total of 330 students in the B Day Cohort were in attendance for in-person instruction today.  North High School saw 112 out of a possible total of 284 students in attendance for the A Day Cohort while 140 students out of the 302 total South High School A Day Cohort students were at school.  

Instead, with such low numbers of hybrid students in attendance, it is in the best interest for continuity of instruction that the District pivots to 100% remote beginning tomorrow morning. As a reminder, when in remote instruction in Grades 6-12, the school day begins at 7:25 a.m. at the high school and 9 a.m. at the middle school. 

As a reminder, we will be returning to in-person, hybrid learning for all students, K-12, on January 19, 2021. 

Thank you.

Stay Strong! Stay healthy!

 

Sincerely,

Martin D. Cox, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

 

Sue Sherlock, FNP
Coordinator of Health Services