September 25, 2020
Dear Parents and School Community Members,
I am writing to provide an update on the hybrid model of instruction. As I explained at the board meeting last night, we originally had hoped that we could transition to Phase Two with full-day in-person instruction after four weeks, but at this point, we do not believe rushing into a full-day model is the best path forward for students.
We have teachers who are working very hard to adapt to this new model of teaching with students in-person and remote. Their planning is taking more time than originally anticipated, and professional training has been delayed, at times, because of the connectivity issues. The afternoons also are used for professional collaboration to ensure consistency across grade levels and to provide office hours and follow-up with students who need extra help. That time would be significantly reduced in a full-day model.
Our concerns about lunch remain. We would have to put grade-level cohorts together, and though socially distanced, the students would be removing their masks while eating. The impact on our all-remote learners, which currently make up 35% of our students, is also an important factor. We have concerns about putting these students on a full day, which may lead to 6.5 hours of screen time. I’ll add that no district in the county currently has plans to move to a full-day hybrid model.
On the other hand, a suggestion to explore in-person instruction on Wednesdays with alternating cohorts was made and will be considered. Decisions have not been made, but we want you to be aware of this for planning purposes. In the meantime, we will be sending a survey to gather feedback.
As for the technology upgrades, we expect the network to be ready for Tuesday. If something changes, I will let you know in an update on Monday. Please remember that this Wednesday is an in-person instructional day for Cohort A because of the shortened school week. I also want you to know that the state has directed us to close the school buildings to students on November 3 for Election Day. That Tuesday will be an all-remote instructional day.
Thank you for your ongoing flexibility and support.
Very truly yours,
George P. Alexis