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Districts 13 and 24 expand reopening plans


With statewide coronavirus transmission rates remaining low, school officials in Valley Stream elementary districts 13 and 24 announced plans last week to expand in-person schooling to five days a week for children in certain grades.

Since the start the school year, only children in kindergarten and first-grade in District 13 and kindergarten children in District 24 have been attending school in the classroom for a full, five-day schedule. The remaining students alternated days in the classroom and remote learning at home as part of their respective district’s hybrid learning plans.

Citing the initial success of school reopenings amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as requests from parents, on Sept. 29 District 13 Schools Superintendent Dr. Constance Evelyn and District 24 Schools Superintendent Dr. Don Sturz reported that additional grades would now be attending school in-person for the full week.

In District 13, children in second- and third-grade were scheduled to return to the classroom for the full week starting Oct. 5. Class sizes would range between 13 and 19 students per room.

“This revised model provides more service while allowing our buildings to continue to operate at a lower density to comply with necessary health screening, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and social distancing through shared spaces in the building,” Evelyn wrote in a letter to the school community.

Students in fourth- through sixth-grade would remain attending school through the district’s hybrid model.

In District 24, Sturz announced that as part of what the district refers to as phase 2 of the district’s reopening plan, students in first- second- and third-grade would return to a full in-person daily attendance schedule starting Oct. 13.

“All protocols such as established arrival, and dismissal procedures, classroom containment, limited movement through hallways, lunch in the classrooms, bathroom usage, and adherence to the 3 W’s (wearing masks, washing hands and watching your distance) will be maintained,” he said. Additionally, full remote learning would continue unchanged.

Officials at District 30 appeared to be taking a more cautious approach. On Oct. 2 Schools Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Stirling announced the district would remain on track for a six-week reassessment of the district’s hybrid model after which he did not rule out the following changes:

- Switching to full remote learning.

- Maintaining the district’s current hybrid model.

- Increasing the days of in-person instruction within the hybrid model.

- Restarting four- or five-day, in-person instruction for students in certain grades while continuing hybrid learning for students in others.

- Eliminating hybrid learning and switching all students to four- or five-day, in-person schooling while maintaining a full-remote model.