Dr. Shaner sends update on return to school

Dr. Shaner sends update on return to school

Mariam Hanna, Editor-in-chief

Yesterday afternoon, superintendent Dr. Robert Shaner sent out an email to all Rochester Community Schools families that announced the return to partial in-person instruction beginning Monday, Oct. 19. 

In use will be a hybrid model, meaning that only 50 percent of students will be in the building at all times. This will allow for social distancing inside classrooms and in the hallways, which lessens the risk of spreading COVID-19. 

Based on the schedule for secondary students that was attached to the email, students in cohort A will be in the building on Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:30- 1:45, having online class meetings on Wednesdays, and doing asynchronous learning on Thursdays and Fridays.

 Asynchronous learning means students will be assigned material to review and complete independently. Students in cohort B will be following a flipped schedule with asynchronous learning on Mondays and Tuesdays, online class meetings on Wednesdays, and in-person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays. For high school students, this schedule will begin on October 19 while it will begin on October 12 for middle schoolers. 

“We anticipate cohorts being grouped alphabetically,” Dr. Shaner explained in the email. More information about cohorts is to be provided next week. 

The schedule for elementary students will look similar to secondary students in that they will also have two cohorts that are in person two days a week, having remote learning on Wednesdays, and doing asynchronous learning on the other two days. 

Students in the special education program will be returning to in-person instruction five days a week for half days beginning on Oct. 5.

Due to COVID-19, certain procedures will be in place to ensure the safety of students and staff. These procedures were outlined in an email sent out last week:

“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.”

Regarding lunch, RHS principal Mr. Neil DeLuca said, “When we return seniors will not have off campus lunch.  This is subject to change.”

In addition, masks are required to be worn throughout the school day for students aged 2 and above. There will be exceptions made for Pre-K students when in classrooms and those who have diagnosed medical issues that do not allow them to breathe while wearing a mask, as well as during meal times and drinking. This was explained through an Instagram post made by RCS just yesterday.

Students are looking forward to safely getting back into the classroom to finally meet their teachers, receive in-person instruction, and socialize with peers.

“Remote learning was alright, but it was hard to learn through Zoom sometimes,” junior Kenneth Barnett said. “I am looking forward to being able to be around people and be able to have my time be more organized.”