Most RCSD schools return to classroom Wednesday, 22 remain temporarily remote


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester City School District officials announced Monday most schools will bring students back to the classroom this week, with some schools remaining remote.

The district announced last week a temporary pivot to remote learning, which began Thursday, due to the recent COVID-19 surge locally and the subsequent “limited number of staff and shortage of substitutes.”

The district announced all but 22 schools would return for in-person instruction Wednesday, with the remaining remote schools to return for in-person by January 18 (full list of schools below). The district initially sent out a list of 21 schools impacted by the plan, later adding Northeast College Preparatory High School as the 22nd.

“After several meetings and reviewing the data, we have decided to continue with remote learning Tuesday and Wednesday we will be able to have some schools return to in person learning,” said Superintendent Lesli Myers Small. About 29 schools who are ready will return, but 21 are not able and will remain in remote until January 18th due to staffing issues.”

The Rochester Teachers Union President, Adam Urbanski, previously voiced his support for the district to go temporarily remote for up to two weeks.

“Any decision that was going to be made, there was always going be some disagreement,” Mysers Small said “Our scholars need to be back in school. Our goal is to get all schools back up to full in-class learning by January 18th.”

Officials said students in remote learning will continue to log onto Google Classroom or Seesaw and follow their regular school day with their teachers. All in-person students are asked to continue to bring their technology to and from school each day.

“I recognize that this is a challenging time for us, but we are committed to bring back to classroom learning,” Myers Small said.

Officials say the district will continue to support students and families during this transition with grab-and-go meals, technological supporter, and vaccination clinics.

Superintendent Myers Small issued the following statement on the decision Monday:

We will return to in-person learning at all but 21 schools beginning on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, due to the high number of staff absences. Please see the attached document for a complete list of schools. We anticipate schools in remote learning will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Students in remote learning will continue to log onto Google Classroom or Seesaw and follow their regular school day with their teachers. I am asking staff to encourage students to bring their technology to and from school each day.

We are continuously monitoring the number of staff absences, which directly affects a school’s ability to have students in person. When we reach a point where we cannot cover absences to safely educate and transport students, we will transition to remote learning at either specific school buildings or the entire District. I will inform you as soon as possible on future transitions as they occur.

I cannot thank you all enough for everything you are doing to keep our schools open for our scholars. Students want to be in school, and as we already know, their social-emotional health has been severely impacted. Together, we will continue to overcome the challenges presented by COVID. I am very proud to lead a District with such kind and caring team members.”

Watch Full Press Conference Here:

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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