The East Greenbush Central School District is preparing to bring back all 6th graders for four days a week of in-person learning at Howard L. Goff Middle School while maintaining the required 6 feet social distancing requirements set by New York State.
Starting Monday, May 10, and pending Board of Education final approval, 6th grade students can report to school four days a week. A Day and B Day students in 6th Grade would learn at school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through the use of learning pods.
This change requires the elimination of the current hybrid model at 6th grade. This means there will be no more remote days or remote assignments for 6th grade students.
Live Virtual Wednesdays will continue because several 7th grade teachers also teach 6th grade students and all special area teachers including physical education, art, music and technology teach all grade levels, 6-8. The school cannot operate two separate master schedules on the same day because of shared staffing.
The Full Remote program will still be available to families who choose that option.
The two instructional models for 6th Grade would include:
- In-Person Instruction 4 Days Per Week – 6th grade students will attend school for in-person instruction, 4 days a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday following the regular school day schedule AND attend live virtual on Wednesday following the virtual Wednesday schedule.
- Full Remote Learning – 6th grade students will attend their classes virtually on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday following a regular school day schedule AND attend live virtual instruction on Wednesday following the virtual Wednesday class schedule.
6th Grade Learning Pods
The four day per week in-person schedule at Grade 6 will involve the deployment of a learning pod model at Goff on a rotational basis to ensure that students remain socially distanced at 6 feet in all classrooms. For example, a class that can safely seat 15 students at 6 feet apart, but has an enrollment of 18 students, would require three students to rotate out each day and stream into the class from an alternate location within the school. The frequency of students receiving instruction in the pod will vary based on class enrollment and the number of seats available at 6 feet apart.
To ensure equitable delivery of instruction, every effort is being made by school administrators so that students are required to participate in a learning pod no more than one period per day.
The learning pods will be supervised by staff who will assist students as needed.
“The changes will benefit students by restoring daily instruction, increasing teacher and peer interactions and establishing routines of daily attendance within the school building,” said Principal Jill Barker in a letter to parents.
Proposed Change Requires Board of Education Final Approval
The Board of Education will review this proposed change for 6th Grade at its public meeting on Tuesday, May 4.
Live Streaming of Classes at Grades 7-12
Additionally, in Grades 7-12, effective May 10, all teachers are expected to provide synchronous instruction for all students, both in person and remote, through live streaming access to classroom instruction each day of the week, Monday through Friday.
This means students will be able to watch classes and participate virtually from home on their remote learning days.
Recent Changes to Hybrid Model
The district continues to modify its K-12 Hybrid Model and increase in-person learning for students. Kindergarten (March 1), Grade 1 (March 29), Grade 2 (April 13) and Grades 3-5 (April 26) have all returned to full time in-person learning. Additionally, more middle school and high school students have returned to four days a week of in-person learning based on student need and for remedial help before and after school.
“As the COVID-19 situation continues to improve, we are striving to find ways to ensure we can increase in-person learning and provide synchronous instruction at all levels,” said Superintendent Jeff Simons. “These changes in Grades 6-12 will put our students in the best position available for the remainder of this year as we advocate for further state changes to enable a full school opening in September.”