ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester City School District announced its Phase 3 reopening date Tuesday evening.
According to the district, students in grades 7 – 12 who are not in specialized programs will be able to return to hybrid, in-person learning on February 22. Students from families choosing that option will spend 2 days in the classroom each week, and 3 days learning virtually.
Phase 2 remains on schedule to begin Monday, February 8. That’s when students in grades Pre K – 6 will be able to return to school.
“We must prioritize [students] and they do need to be back in school, and that has been reiterated by our medical professionals,” said Dr. Lesli Myers-Small, the superintendent of the Rochester City School District, at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday.
Dr. Myers-Small says among the hybrid students are roughly 4,400 Pre-K through 6th graders and just under 3,000 7th through 12th graders.
“The important thing, that trumps everything else, is, ‘what is the safest thing for my child?'” said Adam Urbanski, the President of the Rochester Teachers’ Association.
Urbanski believes the safest option is to keep students learning remotely, pointing to a markedly-high rate of transmission in Monroe County – nine percent on a seven-day rolling average as of Tuesday.
“We think the right thing to do would be to wait until teachers are vaccinated. Until the contagion rates are lower, the timing couldn’t be worse. Why do it now?” Urbanski added.