By Jim Spezialetti
After two months of remote learning, students in the Carlynton School District will be going back to the classroom at least two days a week.
Carlynton School Board members unanimously approved the district’s re-entry plan at its Oct. 13 virtual meeting, which had more than 150 viewers on Zoom and YouTube.
Superintendent John Kreider recommended a plan that is different from the hybrid or traditional model originally proposed in July.
Students in kindergarten through the third grade will be in the classroom four days a week, beginning Oct. 29. Students will report to their elementary building every day except Wednesday, which will be done remotely.
Students in grades four through 12 will be in the classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting Nov. 5. Those students will continue remote learning on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
All Life Skills and Autistic Support students in K-12 will be in the classroom four days a week starting Oct. 29, with remote learning taking place on Wednesday.
“The goal is to safely phase in additional days per week for all grade levels,” Kreider said. “The first couple weeks will give us a solid understanding of how things are working.”
Students in K-3 will remain in their classroom for most of the day. Students will report straight to class after getting off the bus. Transportation schedules will be modified about 15 minutes.
During lunch periods, the cafeteria will be reduced to one-third capacity. The gymnasium and other classrooms will be used to serve lunch.
Students in grades four to six will change classrooms a little more frequently than the younger elementary students. Lunch periods and bus schedules will be the same routine for all students at the elementary level.
Elementary students have a report time of 8:25 a.m. and are dismissed at 3 p.m. The remote learning schedule will continue as it has been, with instruction starting at 9 a.m.
At the secondary level, students report at 7:25 a.m. and will be dismissed at 2:07 p.m.
Remote instruction begins at 8 a.m. Kreider said the district will allow more high school students to drive to school to help reduce bus riders. Students must register their vehicle if they elect to drive.
Kreider said all students have the option to learn remotely. He said elementary teachers will communicate with families regarding what portions of the day will have live streaming.
The district’s health and safety plan remains in place. Kreider said the district has increased the number of no-touch flush toilets and water filling stations in each building. Various signs are posted to promote health measures. Temperature screenings will be done when students arrive.
A big concern for parents is the lack of face-to-face instruction for special education students and those who struggle with online learning.
Sara Hoffman, director of special education, said students are receiving services per their IEP.
Kreider acknowledged the challenges that some students have with remote learning but assured parents that the district is working toward more classroom days when it is safe.
Board President Jim Schriver asked Kreider to continue to monitor students who are not doing well with online instruction.
“I think we all recognize that this is not an ideal situation,” Schriver said. “I appreciate everybody’s flexibility and patience and hope you sense that the district is desperate to get all of the students back in the buildings as soon as possible.”