Dear Minisink Valley school community:
August continues to be a very busy planning month at Minisink Valley schools. Our administrators, faculty and staff continue to review and further refine our reopening plans which will allow us to welcome students back into our buildings in September.
As previously mentioned, we are handling the massive details needed to finalize school schedule formation, synchronous and asynchronous instruction, remote curriculum development, teacher/student interactions, extracurricular activities, athletics and much more, following the instructional framework we are confident will work best for our Minisink Valley school community, given the limitations we have.
It’s important to reinforce that like all our planning, our work requires us — and you, as parents/guardians, students and interested community members — to be to be fluid and flexible. We are working under the assumption that state regulations, mandates and guidelines can be modified very quickly during these pandemic times. This reminds us, yet again, of the importance of resiliency and the ability to adjust.
It’s also critical to again stress that every decision we make as part of our ongoing planning puts student and staff health always as our first priority and obligation.
With this in mind, this is the overview of Minisink Valley’s phased rollout of the first six weeks of the school year. Please note these dates on your calendars, and know that additional information will follow from your child’s individual schools.
Sept. 1 to 4: Superintendent’s Conference Days, allowing for faculty and staff professional development and training. At the forthcoming Aug. 20 Board of Education meeting, a request will be made to amend the calendar.
Sept. 8 to 18: Phase I/Remote Learning for all K-12 students. Teachers will engage students via synchronous and asynchronous remote instruction. Please note: This is because final preparations of buildings to accommodate student and staff attendance will be taking place, in tandem with the State Department of Health (DOH) and State Education Department (SED).
Special education students: During Phase I, students will follow their building’s plan for remote instruction.
Week of Sept. 21:
Phase II/ Grades K-5: These students return to school using an A/B model (students assigned to A or B groups as a household). This week will be half days of in-person instruction combined with half days of remote instruction.
Phase II/Grades 6-12: These students continue to be fully remote with synchronous instruction.
Special education students: During Phase II, students in Grades K-5, who receive their special education services in a 15:1 special class setting, will attend school in person, every day, for half day. Students, in Grades K-5, who receive consultant teacher support will follow their building schedule for alternate A/B days for half days. Students in Grades 6-12 will continue to be fully remote with synchronous instruction.
Week of Sept. 28:
Phase III/ Grades K-5: Students continue A/B model (students assigned to A or B groups as a household); full day of live attendance.
Phase III/Grades 6-12: Students would continue to be fully remote with synchronous instruction.
Special education students: During Phase III, students in Grades K-5, who receive their special education support in a 15:1 special class setting,will attend school in person, every day for a full day. Students, in Grades K-5, who receive consultant teacher support will follow their building schedules for alternate A/B days for full days. Students in Grades 6-12 will continue to be fully remote with synchronous instruction.
Week of Oct. 5:
Phase IV/ K-12: Hybrid model based on A/B attendance for all K-12 students.
Special education students: During Phase IV, students in Grades K-5, who receive their special education support in a 15:1 special class setting,will attend school in person, every day for a full day. Students, in Grades K-5, who receive consultant teacher support will follow their building schedules for alternate A/B days for full days. Students in Grades 6-12 will follow an alternate A/B schedule. Students in Grades 9 to 12 who attend the Career and Achievement Program (CAP) will attend school on a daily basis. Related services will be provided both synchronously and asynchronously during all four phases.
As part of this, it’s equally important to note:
- These plans can be modified based on current pandemic conditions at the time, in addition to state mandates.
- Masks will be required for all students, faculty and staff whenever they are in the presence of other people, with the exception of socially distanced meal times.
- As we transition between phases, groups may be divided further in half (A1, A2, B1, B2) in order to best address the necessary procedures, protocols and required training to ensure student and staff social distancing and safety.
- Minisink Valley will also incorporate planned “flex days” that would be fully remote instructional days for all K-12 students for deep cleaning in the schools. These days will be announced in advance.
Other important information
- Minisink Valley recently announced a fully remote option for interested families, Requests must be made in writing to your child’s principal by Tuesday, Aug. 18. Parents who choose this model will need to make a commitment to it for a full marking period, or quarter. This will be a full marking period requirement.
- We are requesting families to complete the Chromebook request form ONLY if they need to request a device for their child(ren) who do not have the sole use of a device during the school day by 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24. Currently, Minisink Valley has a limited inventory until additional devices become available and are delivered. Please complete one form for each student for whom a device will be needed.
- Information will follow in the next days for virtual parent forums to be held the week of Aug. 17. We will be sending out a form which invites you to submit questions to be discussed at those sessions.
- We encourage you to thoroughly review our Reopening Schools Plan, as it provides significant and useful information as we continue our work this month.
We have determined this instructional framework model is the best choice for Minisink Valley for the opening of the 2020-21 school year, given the many regulations, mandates and related issues we must address.
Thank you for your ongoing support of our work and for the trust you give us for the health, safety and education of your children.