We have received several inquiries regarding the Reopening Planning Survey that was sent yesterday. Please understand that the survey is intended for planning purposes only and is non-binding. The District will review the results on a school-by-school and grade-level basis to make informed decisions specific to each level as we move forward in developing options. We will be sharing more details about our plans prior to asking for any firm commitments.
Currently, the District is able to achieve 6-feet distancing in our classrooms by operating in the hybrid model, which reduces the number of students in class by 50%. If the District allows full time in person (FTIP) instruction for all students, 6-feet distancing would no longer be possible given the size of our classrooms. If such a shift were made, distancing between students may be reduced to as low as 3-feet. In this circumstance, Google Meet technology would remain in place for those students who prefer a fully remote option.
The second to last question on the survey seeks to gauge families’ preference between shifting to FTIP instruction with a minimum of 3-feet distancing or maintaining the current hybrid model with 6-feet distancing.
The last question seeks to gauge whether parents would send their children to school in a 3-feet FTIP model or not. The hybrid model is not a choice on that question as our current 6-feet distanced hybrid model would no longer be feasible if we shifted to the FTIP model. It is critical that we have the data from this question to determine if a FTIP model is even doable as our initial analysis of classroom space indicates that many classrooms at 100% capacity would have seating of less than 3-feet, therefore, the FTIP model would only be possible if a critical mass of students selected the full virtual option. Put simply, we need to have an understanding of how many students would select the full virtual option in this scenario to assess whether we could achieve FTIP instruction with 3-feet distancing. Additionally, we will disaggregate the data to determine if there are differences in preference between elementary, middle school and high school responses.
While we continue to seek guidance on whether 3-feet distancing is recommended, the survey set that as a minimum because there is currently no scientific or medical guidance that suggests anything less than 3-feet should be considered. We will also be reviewing the newly released guidance from the CDC and will watch for adjustments from the New York State Department of Health, which is ultimately the organization with jurisdiction over schools in New York State.
We recognize that these are difficult questions for many families and additional details will be necessary before families can make an informed decision. Again, this survey is intended only to help us develop viable plans, especially given the significant space constraints facing the District.
If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to complete the survey to the best of your ability so we can develop viable options.
Please enjoy a restful winter recess.
The Pelham Public Schools