Mix of in-person, remote instruction in Westmoreland


The Westmoreland school district’s plan for reopening school following COVID-19 closures would allow daily in-person instruction for all elementary students, while grades 7-12 would receive a combination of in-person and remote instruction in a hybrid schedule.

The instruction plan, which also allows for students who opt to attend school remotely, is consistent with results of a parent/guardian survey, said the district; over 85% percent of the nearly 800 responses indicated they wanted on-site classes, and of that 85% there were over 90% who wanted elementary instruction every day, according to a district Q&A document in conjunction with the 40-plus-page reopening outline.

The reopening plan has been submitted to the state, in accordance with a statewide deadline today for school districts statewide to do so. A state decision on potential reopening of schools this fall is expected in early August.

“While all of the reopening plans contain similar
guidance on topics such as appropriate social distancing, face coverings, food service, and plans for in-person, hybrid and remote instruction, the plans also vary greatly depending on the needs and resources of each district,” school district
superintendents in the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES region said today in a joint statement. “Each school district in our region is unique, leading to a range of different reopening plans based on availability of space in physical (facilities) and the capacity to socially distance students within them, staff sizes, enrollment and class sizes, as well as the number and availability of buses for student transportation.”

Among the Westmoreland district plans:

• For the primary elementary school and upper elementary school sites, “our capacity at both elementary buildings allows for 100% of the...populations to attend at one time....,” said the district’s plan. But to comply with health and safety guidelines including social distancing, some of the K-6 grades depending on their enrollment will be divided into two groups for instruction; while one group is receiving instruction from a teacher, another group will be receiving instruction from a teacher assistant, with the teacher and TA able to move freely between groups.

The district’s plan said “students who opt to attend school remotely will be assigned to one of the aforementioned groups in case they change their minds and decide to attend.”

• For grades 7-12, the district’s “hybrid model will allow all students to receive in-person and remote instruction while operating on a 2-day schedule,” according to the reopening plan document. “This schedule allows all students to receive instruction in-person for every subject on their schedule....”

The capacity at Westmoreland’s junior/senior high school facility “allows for 50% of the grade 7-12 population to attend at one time based on the current safety guidelines of social distancing and face coverings,” said the plan, and “therefore students will be divided into two groups, Group A and Group B.”

The plan added, “students who opt to attend school remotely will be assigned to one of the aforementioned groups in case they change their minds and decide to attend the hybrid model.” Group A will include all students with last names ending in letters A through K and Group B will be all students with last names ending in letters K through Z.

“Each group of students will attend school in-person on a rotating basis for one consecutive day allowing them to participate in every scheduled class in-person. On the opposite day students will begin attending school remotely and follow their daily schedule via Google Meet/Zoom,” the plan explained.


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