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All East Greenbush CSD elementary schools will be eliminating Live Virtual Wednesdays for students in grades 1-5 starting Wednesday, March 10 as a way of providing one additional in-person learning day every other week. The proposal was approved by the Board of Education at Wednesday evening’s public meeting.

Columbia High School and Howard L. Goff Middle School will continue to have Live Virtual Wednesdays.

This change is one of many adjustments that the district has made to its Reopening Plans over the course of the school year to increase levels of in-person learning for students. Most recently, the Board of Education approved a full time return of kindergarten which starts March 1.

“This is a really good, hopeful sign that we may be able to do more of this as we continue to progress through the rest of the year,” Superintendent Jeff Simons said at the meeting. “And we are working on exploring every option possible for next fall as we advocate for changes that may permit our district to offer (full time) in-person learning for every child, kindergarten through 12th grade.”

Due to social distancing requirements and the limitations of classroom space, the district would only be able to have one cohort of students attend in-person instruction on Wednesdays on an every other week schedule. This means when students are not at school for their in-person learning day on Wednesday, they will have asynchronous remote learning at home.

Parents are supportive of this change to the instructional model. In a recent survey, approximately 85% of parents who responded agreed that “the additional in-person learning day on Wednesdays every other week would benefit my child.” And approximately 80% of respondents agreed that “the additional remote learning day every other week would not pose a significant problem for my child or our family. This change would be outweighed by the benefits of the additional in-person learning day every other week.”

Schools will continue with the current A/B weekly schedule, meaning Wednesday, March 10 will be an in-person school day for B Day students and A Day students will have a remote day. The schedule will alternate going forward.

As part of the discussion at the Board of Education meeting, Mr. Simons stressed his commitment to try and make other changes to increase in-person learning.

“We want to continue to look for ways, this year, to see what else can be done to increase in-person learning,” said Mr. Simons, “but we want to get these two changes implemented first.”

Mr. Simons also said that the district would review the school calendar, once the potential of winter weather has passed, and may make changes to ensure an equitable number of school days and in-person days.

Enhancements to Hybrid Model This School Year

  • Students enrolled in the following programs have been identified as high-needs and attend in-person learning four days a week:
    • Full Day Special Education
    • Integrated Co-Teaching Special Education
    • Operation Graduation
    • CTAEP
    • Jump Start
    • Columbia Alternative Program
    • Middle School Alternative Program
    • English as a New Language
  • Kindergarten students will resume five days a week of in-person learning starting on Monday, March 1. 
  • Live Virtual Wednesdays have been eliminated for students in grades 1-5 to provide one additional in-person school day every other week.
  • Operation Launchpad at Columbia – students come into school on Live Virtual Wednesdays to work with teaching assistants to get caught up on work
  • Academic Remediation for Goff students after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Wednesday Schedule Going Forward

  • March 10 – B Day (A Day Remote)
  • March 17 – A Day (B Day Remote)
  • March 24 – B Day (A Day Remote)
  • March 31 – A Day (B Day Remote)
  • April 14 – B Day (A Day Remote)
  • April 21 – A Day (B Day Remote)
  • April 28 – B Day (A Day Remote)
  • May 5 – A Day (B Day Remote)
  • May 12 – B Day (A Day Remote)
  • May 19 – A Day (B Day Remote)
  • May 26 – B Day (A Day Remote)
  • June 2 – A Day (B Day Remote)
  • June 9 – B Day (A Day Remote)
  • June 16 – A Day (B Day Remote)
  • June 23 – B Day (A Day Remote)

Board of Education Meeting (February 24, 2021)
Discussion regarding elimination of Live Virtual Wednesdays for Grades 1-5 starts at 29:44 mark of the video.