BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Students at the Brighton School District returned to remote learning on Friday due to logistical issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ‘significant’ absences.

District officials made the announcement three weeks ago, saying Friday will act like a planned snow day. All students grades K-12 will have an independent learning day, with instructions provided by teachers.

The change to the regular schedule is only implemented for Friday, according to the district’s website.

Instruction does not include Zoom sessions but instead is ‘asynchronous,’ meaning that class lessons will be different for every level.

The district addressed what caused this shift in the following message sent to parents, saying in part:

“We simply need the time and space to reevaluate, reassess, and make course corrections based on the needs of your children, some of which has changed even over the past week and will continue to change before the 28th. Time like this is always well spent by our staff and results in even better planning for their work with your students.” 

On Wednesday district officials announced that mandatory masking by all students and staff remains in place while the decision over New York’s indoor mask mandate continues to play out in the courts.

Additionally, the district reported that 87% of eligible students K-12 attending Brighton schools have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and say absence numbers are are only slightly elevated at this time.

Students at the Gates Chili Central School District were also under an asynchronous learning day Friday.

According to district officials, a return to in-class instruction should be expected no later than the beginning of next week.