Principals and staff members at schools are working relentlessly on reopening details for their schools and have started to share first details with families. Every public school seems to have a certain amount of freedom on how to structure blended learning in their building while respecting social distancing and all health and safety requirements. The Department of Education is supposed to approve each school’s blended learning plan by August 21st.

We have compiled first proposals of public elementary schools in District 13 that are subject to change:

School A plans to prioritize their youngest students and will offer in-person learning close to 100% for their youngest learners in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. Children in Grades 2,3 and 5 will attend school in-person 50% of the time which means 2 days one week, 3 days the next week. School hours for the days of in-person learning will be the same as usual 6 hours and 20 minutes. They plan to utilize all available rooms beyond classic classrooms as classrooms including the cafeteria, dance room, library, and gym. The school is also thinking about outdoor learning opportunities for students. Students will have to sit 6 feet apart, whether that is at desks or other learning stations has not been decided. New teaching material has been ordered including Amplify science, phonemic awareness programs and more. The school will create PODs of students and teachers to minimize contact outside that group. The school is also working on entry sequences and sidewalk social distancing stencils to minimize interaction of students and staff in different PODs. POD assignments for students and staff will be made in August. The school does not have any additional information about remote learning or how many staff members will have to work remotely yet.

School B plans to offer in-person learning 50% of the time for all students in Pre-K through 5th Grade which means week A two days in-school, week B three days in school. Placements for in-person learning will be by last name to have siblings attend school the same days. Maximum 9 students with 1 teacher will be in one classroom, students will be sitting each at their own desk. Recess in very small groups in the school yard is planned for with certain games set up to keep kids in one group. If the school is allowed to do lunch in the cafeteria, they will have assigned seating and additional cleaning there. If school lunch has to be served in the classroom, they will need additional adults to serve it. A movement protocol with one-way directions in the stairways is in the works. Remote learning only will be a combination of live teaching and videos. The school proposes that all groups including the remote-learning-only one come together online in one live morning meeting with their peers for social-emotional support. The school wants to offer services for students with IEP live on days the students are in the school building. No after-school options have been discussed and no information about school buses is available as of yet. Teachers have up to middle of August to file for accomodations, hence the school does not know which teachers will be coming back to the school building.

School C has decided to offer in-person learning only two days a week, sticking to the same two days per week for each POD so that parents can plan their weekly schedule better and not have to coordinate childcare differently each week.

What we know so far from the Department of Education about all-remote learning:

  • “If you intend to choose all-remote learning for your child and have not yet notified us, please let us know by August 7 so schools can plan accordingly. You can fill out a web form at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020
  • Your child’s schedule and learning experience will be fully managed by your school. The vast majority of students who participate in fully remote learning will be taught by teachers from their school. While there may be some limited exceptions on a school-by-school basis, you should expect your child to be assigned teachers from their school when they receive their full schedule before the school year begins.
  • Families who choose all-remote instruction will be able to opt back in to blended learning on a quarterly basis throughout the school year, beginning in November.”