BATAVIA — It’s crunch time for the reopening plan for the fall, Batavia City School District Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr. said Thursday afternoon.
Districts had to have their plans in to the state by today. Soler said Batavia’s was pretty much done Thursday, pending final proofing.
“We have a comprehensive plan that addresses all our buildings and campuses. It’s about a 100 page document,” he said, adding that it would be on the district’s website by today.
The superintendent said the plan would address questions such as, “What does that mean for each school? What are the building-wide protocols? What’s the first day look like? What does the in-person learning look like? What does the virtual day look like?”
“Visitors in the building need to wear masks, need to sign in, need to wear a mask. What does it mean for our cleaning ... etc. It’s really for the state Department of Health. and New York State Education Department but families do want to read it. The parents can go in and then look specifically to their building areas. If you’re a BOCES student, you’re going to be over there twice a week, Mondays and Tuesdays all day.”
A decision from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on whether to reopen schools is anticipated for the week of Aug. 1-7. The requirements Batavia and all school districts will have to comply with include face coverings for all students and staff, social distancing of at least 6 feet, daily student-teacher interactions, establishing a process for daily health checks, regularly cleaning and disinfecting schools and buses, promoting correct hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and ensuring educational equity, access, opportunity quality, and support.
The students are divided into five cohorts. Cohort 1 includes students whose last names begin with the letters A through K. They would attend school Monday and Wednesday, with remote learning Tuesday through Friday. Cohort 2, students whose last names begin with the letters L through Z would be in school Tuesdays and Thursdays, with remote learning Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The other cohorts are:
• Cohort 3: High school students participating in BOCES career technical education courses attend school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with remote learning on Wednesdays and Fridays;
• Cohort 4: Students with special considerations and targeted academic support attend school every day; and
• Virtual cohort: Students whose parents choose all remote learning for their children will have that every day.
“We talk about technology, helping to provide internet access to kids. We reviewed things like our staffing and human resources protocols — if our staff can’t work, what would our process be for that?” Soler said. “We talk about our current budget and fiscal situation.
“This is a plan. It’s fluid. It will change. We are giving parents a choice,” he said. “If they want to do 100 percent virtual, if they aren’t comfortable sending their kids, we will have a 100 percent online, virtual option. Our communities all over the place with what their comfort level may be.”
In the plan, the district wants to be as comprehensive as possible, Soler said.
“It’s got to get reviewed by the state and there’s some things they’re going to be looking for in here,” he said. “What are you doing for students with disabilities? What are you doing for English Language learners? I think we tried to address as much as we could. We’ll continue to monitor and adjust.”