Board of Education discusses plans to return to in-person learning


Mariam Hanna, Editor-in-chief

On Monday, September 14, the Rochester Community Schools (RCS) Board of Education held a virtual public meeting in which they discussed bringing students back into the classroom. 

This transition would occur in phases, beginning with students in the Special Education program and in RCS’ Pre-K programs. The initial stages of this plan are to begin as soon as next week. Following will be an re-introduction of general education students into building to some extent.

“The remaining grade levels are anticipated to follow into mid-October, potentially using a hybrid learning model,” Dr. Robert Shaner, RCS’ superintendent, explained in an email.

The return to in-person learning will look different than past school years in order to follow COVID-19 regulations and keep students and facility safe. In his email, Dr. Shaner outlined several changes that would be made in addition to wearing masks:

“Desks will face the same direction; student rotations will be limited in the halls, and hallways will have directional arrows or floor markers; all excess furniture in the common areas and classrooms will be removed; students will not use lockers, drinking fountains have been turned off, although touchless filling stations will still be available; school meals will be prepackaged; lunch periods will be staggered and additional spaces, such as axillary gyms, will be used.”

This decision was one that the Board of Education thought through carefully, prioritizing  both the safety and the education of students. However, they recognize that some families will feel unsafe sending children into the classroom and therefore are continuing Virtual Academy.

“Now more than ever during the public health crisis, establishing a healthy parent-teacher partnership is critical to ensure your child’s success,” Dr. Shaner explained. “This unity, along with a positive approach to learning, helps build a strength that enables us to continue to do great things for children, even under the most difficult circumstances.”