In-person instruction is determined by district’s ability to follow state guidance

As the Fayetteville-Manlius School District nears the second quarter of the 2020-21 school year, some families have been asking the district to return to a 5-day in-person instructional model. 

“While we would love to have all students in school at the same time each school day, we do not have enough classroom space for entire grade levels to attend school at the same time and still meet the state guidelines of six feet between student desks,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “If the state relaxes those guidelines, we will look to offer more in-person instructional time, but right now, we are limited in what we can do.”

Currently, parents and guardians can choose to have their children participate in the district’s hybrid instructional model, in which the district offers two days of in-person instruction and three days of remote instruction, or its fully remote option, in which students do not attend school in person and instead receive a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. 

“We embraced the hybrid instructional model because it replicates, to the best of our ability, our students’ typical classroom experience,” Tice said. “We want all of our students on campus everyday. That is our goal, but until the state changes its guidelines and determines it is safe to have all of our students back at the same time, we will continue to follow our hybrid model.”

The district’s 12:1:1 and 15:1 special education classrooms already had small class sizes that fit the new social distancing guidelines, so those students are able to attend school in person four days. 

The district established Wednesday as a remote learning day for all students so staff can participate in professional development to assist teachers in developing their online instructional materials and to allow time for office hours, in which students or parents and guardians can reach out virtually to teachers for individual help. 

According to Dr. Dracker, is a pediatrician based in Liverpool who was interviewed by CNYCentral about this topic, welcoming students back for five days a week in-person only works with limited class sizes and public schools would find it nearly impossible to do so safely.

In the article, Dracker says the hybrid model isn’t perfect, but it’s the best compromise for keeping members of the community safe while trying to achieve a good educational model.