The following letter was emailed on Friday, Feb. 12 to parents/guardians of students in grades 9 through 12:
Throughout the course of developing our Reopening Plan and during the first half of the 2020-21 school year, our guiding belief at Schoharie CSD has always been that in-person learning benefits students more when compared to a hybrid model. As we have noted, reopening and staying open has always been a fluid process that we would continue to revisit and assess to maximize both safety and learning.
Over the last several months, the high school has been bringing students back to full-time, in-person learning. On March 1st, Schoharie High School will end its hybrid learning model. All in-person students will now attend school five days per week.
For those students whose parents/guardians have chosen the fully remote option for Quarter 3, nothing will change.
Our experience since last March has been that students learn best when they are in the building. Two days a week in person are better than zero and five days a week are better than two. We are confident that this change can be accomplished safely at this time, and we will continue to follow all CDC and Department of Health regulations.
The district’s recently completed renovation project, as well as underutilized space in the Elementary wing, means we can safely accommodate those students in grades 11 and 12 who are attending school under the hybrid, alternating-day model. The change to full-time, in-person learning will mean an additional 70 students each day will be integrated into our school building. Additional classroom space is being established now to ensure our student and staff densities continue to meet the standards of our Reopening Plan, which was developed in accordance with federal and state COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Since students will be in the building every day, our faculty and staff will be in a better position to deliver both academic and social-emotional support. The timing of this move will allow any students who are struggling this year to receive additional support over a four-month period in order to finish the year successfully. Students will also be able to better take advantage of our college and career planning opportunities.
Our experience has shown that our students and staff have abided by our COVID-19 prevention plans, and with some limited exceptions and quarantines, the district has been able to keep our school building open for in-person learning. We look forward to finishing the academic year at Schoharie CSD as strong as we can.
David Blanchard, Superintendent of Schools
Kevin Calacone, Ed.D., Principal