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Return All Students to School Update

Dear Clarkstown School Community:

I hope this communication finds you and your family members in good health and spirits.

Today, I am writing to provide you an update related to our plans to invite all students, K-12, back to our schools for in-person instruction. Depending on the county infection rates and school positive cases we have created two potential approaches (Option A, Option B) for K-5 return to school on April 7. Parents of Grades 6-8, and 9-12 students will be informed in mid-April about steps toward a phased-in return for those students. 

Option A: All students for in-person instruction with less than 6 feet social distancing.

Option B: Provide a new hybrid based on recent survey results with revised criteria for students attending 5 days.

A decision will be made on March 26th regarding which option will be implemented on April 7 for K-5 students.

Option A is as follows:

  • All K-5 Students who wish to attend in person each day will be invited to attend school beginning April 7 with classroom desks configured with less than 6-feet social distancing.
  • K-5 students attending on April 7 will be in classrooms set up with less than 6-feet social distancing and desk barriers will be placed on each desks.

If we are not able to implement Option A on April 7 due to high infection rates in the county and a significant number of positive cases in our schools, Option B will be implemented

Option B is as follows:

  • K-5 students would attend on April 7 in an AB Hybrid model based on recent survey data which is currently being analyzed and organized by our principals.

  • Students will return in a A/B  hybrid model, and 6-feet social distancing.

  • Principals will communicate with parents about this Hybrid model by March 26. All  parents will be informed of their assigned cohort and if their child can attend five days.

  • Early data analysis reveals more parents desire to have their child(ren) attend in person then the last marking period. The survey results will determine if students can attend five days as determined by the revised criteria sheet attached here.

The revised criteria for students attending five days, where possible due to space, includes the following as listed in order of priority: 

  1. Students with high needs who have been in attendance five days since September 29, 2020 and/or prior to February 10.

  2. Students who are not attending school for five days in this current marking period.

  3. Students who are entering school for the first time after being 100% remote since September.

  4. Students who are currently attending school five days during this marking period.

The intent of this priority process is to improve the equity and fairness for students so they may all receive as many opportunities for in-person instruction as possible.

The choice that parents made on the survey for in-person instruction or 100% remote will be finalized on March 22 to prepare for the April 7 return to school. After April 7, families will only be able to change their decision once.

Please note that K-5 students who are currently remote and wishing to return in person will begin on April 7th.  

In the meantime, our Health and Safety Team will continue to monitor infection rates in the county and Positive COVID-19 cases in the District. We plan to inform parents on March 26 of my decision regarding whether or not we will return K-5 students with classroom desks organized with less than 6-feet social distancing on April 7 or if they will continue in a hybrid model.

Thank you.

Stay strong!  Stay healthy!

Sincerely,
Signature

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