Three weeks ago, Mount Vernon City Schools set an aspirational goal to “Go Green” to start the 2020/2021 school year. In the green learning mode, students would be in session five days a week with modifications and safety precautions. Over the past three weeks, the Restart committees have been working diligently to address the many challenges associated with having all students return to school five days a week. We have regularly met with local health officials to review new and updated school guidance and recommendations. As Covid-19 cases continue to increase both statewide and locally, the uncertainty of what another week may bring, makes planning incredibly challenging and unsettling.
Student and Staff safety has always been paramount in our discussions. We believe that by bringing back 50% of our students on alternating days we will have the ability to better address social distancing concerns relative to transportation, food service, and classroom learning environments. With fewer students, the staff will be able to model and train students in the use of new safety procedures, hygiene protocols, modified school schedules and operational procedures.
We believe that committing to a plan for an extended period of time (9-weeks) will allow Students/Parents/Staff the ability to better plan with some certainty and consistency in these unsettling times.
We know this news will be disappointing to many. After talking with Board Members and Restart committees, we too are disappointed but realize that a Hybrid (Yellow) start is the best alternative at this time.
What does the Hybrid (Yellow) learning Mode look like?
We will be providing more specific details next week with regards to the Hybrid (Yellow) learning mode. The basic premise is that students will be assigned to one of two cohorts: (A or B) The A and B cohorts will attend school in-person, two days per week. The remaining three days students will work from home on assignments, projects, interventions, and supports. Students will be issued a
Chromebook and additional WIFI hotspots will be available in and around all school buildings. The district will be utilizing ‘Google Classroom’ in all grades, K12 as well as other technologies.
Building administrators will begin the process of identifying family groups to ensure that family members would attend on the same days. The remaining students will be divided in an effort to have 50% of the students each day in-person learning is scheduled. The A and B cohorts will be determined by the end of next week with parents being notified.
Yes, we realize many parents had some reservations starting ‘Green’ and thought the only alternative was to select the digital online option. Please contact Pam Rose via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate your desire to unenroll from the digital academy.
We will be working closely with families to provide additional options to support our students with special needs.
Please take care of yourself and each other!
William Seder Jr.