Proposal for smaller class size & staggered schedules for reopening area schools


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As schools work on coming up with guidelines on how to eventually re-open, a national organization has some recommendations. 

The American Federation of Teachers has released a 22 page report on recommendations. It is an ever changing blueprint, school districts can use since there isn’t a vaccine to combat COVID-19. The report has collaborated input from educators and healthcare workers, as well as parents, which the union says is crucial in making any reopening plan work.

Some of the ideas brought forth is limiting the amount of students in the classrooms and staggering schedules. Others include limiting the number of visitors in schools and taking the temperature of all students, faculty and staff.

“I’m not saying that this is the be all and end all, this has to be a living document. People are going to have more ingenious ideas but this was a way to plan for this coming school year where we reopen carefully and responsibly,” said Randi Weingarten, AFT President. 

The federation said it is critical to recognize that different schools, different districts and even different rooms will require tailored solutions. 

 Smaller class sizes: The union says class sizes of 25 or more students in a small classroom pose obvious risks to student health and safety. Class sizes of 12 to 15 students could make it possible to maintain physical distancing protocols. 

Split scheduling: Alternating days of the week or times of the day may offer schools a way of limiting the number of students physically at school.

Monitoring access to school facilities: Schools should closely monitor access to school facilities and limit the number of visitors granted access to school facilities. 

Transportation: Districts should consider modifying transportation to provide staggered arrival times and multiple arrival locations to limit large gatherings of students.

Space and time considerations: This includes the need for portable classrooms or additional space if schools are overcrowded.

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