WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

Majority of Hewlett-Woodmere parents pick in-person instruction


Updated Aug. 14 at 11:25 a.m.

Nearly 72 percent of Hewlett-Woodmere parents surveyed chose full in-person instruction in a districtwide survey and 17 percent picked the hybrid model — a combination of remote learning and in-person teaching — while 11.4 percent opted for full online instruction.

The figures were unveiled in an Aug. 12 letter emailed to parents by Superintendent Dr. Ralph Marino Jr. In addition, 43.29 percent of students who qualify (self-reported by parents) have elected to use district-provided transportation for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

“Recently, we asked all parents and guardians to register their children for one of three modes of instruction: full in-person instruction, hybrid instruction, or full online instruction,” Marino said. “The results indicated that the majority of parents opted for full-person instruction.” He noted online and hybrid instruction is scheduled to begin on Sept. 3. Full-person instruction is scheduled for Oct. 5.

For schools to reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has established that the average daily infection rate of coronavirus in a region must remain below 5 percent using a 14-day average. Schools are mandated to close if the region’s infection rate is greater than 9 percent using a seven-day average after Aug. 1. For schools to open regions must be in Phase 4 of the state's reopening plan. 

“At this time due to the overwhelming number of families opting for full in-person instruction or hybrid instruction, we have to continue assessing physical space/social distancing regulations, and the availability of state-approved plastic desk/table barriers for students and teachers,” he said. “Until that date of Oct. 5, all students who selected full in-person instruction will be temporarily scheduled for hybrid instruction. Those students selecting full online instruction will remain unaffected by this change.”

Ric Stark, president of the Hewlett-Woodmere Faculty Association is also part of the district's reopening task force. He noted that while the reopening plans are moving in the right direction, faculty still has some safety concerns.

"Our faculty supports a safe reopening," Stark said. "But there are still some faculty members with some concerns over the conditions in which they will be working in, but were working towards improving that." 

Hewlett-Woodmere interim Assistant Superintendent David Flatley said the district is also planning to host a virtual parent meeting on Aug. 18 to highlight the reopening plan. 

“School and district administrators will be present at each meeting to provide additional information and address concerns,” Flatley said. “Information regarding dates and times will be forthcoming from our principals as we are developing an in-depth question and answer document that will be shared with all parents and guardians next week.”

The Aug. 18 meeting in the Hewlett High School auditorium will include a presentation on the district’s reopening plan, The public is invited to attend this meeting in-person. However, attendance will be capped at 35 people. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district’s website — hewlett-woodmere.net — at 5 p.m.