ELDRED, NY — The Eldred Central School District administration released its preliminary plan to return to school in the fall. The plan encompasses three major areas: instruction, meals and …
ELDRED, NY — The Eldred Central School District administration released its preliminary plan to return to school in the fall. The plan encompasses three major areas: instruction, meals and transportation.
In-classroom instruction will occur with about half of the students present in the school building and the other half utilizing Zoom or Google to be in class in real-time on their computer. Conference-type microphones will be procured that have the capacity to pick up sound from any student in the classroom, enabling the students at home to hear all of what is being said in class. Quality cameras are also being ordered so that the students at home can see all that the teacher wants them to see. The students at home will also be able to contribute to in-class discussion.
The plan is to have all siblings in the same group to ease the impact on parents for child care. All classified students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) as well as students with Section 504 plans will come to school daily as will students who are in vocational education, unless BOCES conducts its vocational education strictly online.
Whether the in-classroom schedule will be rotated every other day or every other week has not been decided. The thinking behind every other week is that finding child care may be easier.
Current Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines would necessitate students eating breakfast and lunch in their classrooms at all grade levels. Meals would likely be a grab-and-go arrangement.
The plan envisions accommodating about 20 students on a full-size bus, with perhaps a few more if siblings are seated together. This would require at least two full bus runs in order to bring in half of the elementary students district-wide. At the junior-senior high school, it is less clear how many bus runs may be needed. At both schools, the plan is to ask parents if they intend to drive their student to and from school. If so, the commitment would have to be made for every day of school since adding a student for one day to a bus route is not practical.
Each student will be scanned for a fever when they get on the bus or at the school door if transportation is by private vehicle. If the student has a temperature of concern, the parent will be called to come to get their child and strongly encouraged to bring their child to a doctor that day.
If a parent fears for the health of their child or the child has a compromised immune system, they will be permitted to attend school strictly online from home. If a parent feels that their child needs to attend school every day due to child care issues and the lack of child care is impacting employment, that child will attend school daily.
Originally, the school board authorized task force meetings to meet in early August to develop a plan because guidance from the state had not been issued. Subsequently, the governor accelerated the due date for districts to submit their plans by Friday, July 31. The task force meetings will continue as scheduled on August 4, 5 and 6 to fine-tune the plan and, if necessary, a revised plan would be submitted should anything of substance change.
Masks will be required at all times unless there is 10 feet of distance between individuals.
The plan will be discussed in detail at the next school board meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 23 at the high school gymnasium. The meeting can be attended in person or accessed via Zoom. Superintendent John Morgano encourages that questions be asked at that meeting to dissuade misinformation being circulated. He also stated that concerned individuals can call or arrange to meet with him if there are questions that are better asked in a more private setting.
Said Morgano, “We will as always do what is best for our children. I will say it again, your children are my priority. If school becomes a health issue, I will take necessary action including closing it if necessary.”