ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Many districts are preparing to bring back elementary students in accordance with New York State’s reopening guidance, but only some districts are starting on Monday.
The new guidance recommends physical distancing requirements dependent on grade level, with a minimum of 3 feet for elementary school students. Middle and high schools may shift from the 6-foot requirement to the new 3-foot requirement, depending on cohort sizes in the schools and rates of infection on the county level.
Churchville Chili and Brighton are two districts who were able to implement new strategies and bring younger students back for full in-person learning.
“It’s like all the holidays back in one,” Brighton Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan said. “We’ve been anxious to have kids for five days back, the entire time. They’ve been out for over a year now and this is the time to do that so it’s really an exciting time for us more than anything.”
Many districts say that learning model for older kid is not possible right now due to a high infection rate, space and resources. But for those who are going back — Dr. McGowan says it’s a big day.
Joseph Meyer is the parent of a kindergartner on Churchville who used to go to school two days a week and at home-learning for three.
He says he never imagined taking on the responsibility of working with his child at home for zoom classes, it’s been such a challenge.
Especially since reading and writing is something his child is still learning – so to be doing that over zoom, without the atmosphere of other kids around him, has been difficult he says.
“We get a lot of pushback with zoom at home,” Meyer said. “So I think when he’s there he is focused and doing stuff. We have other kids at home, so when he’s home with the zoom, he sees his brothers playing and doing fun stuff, so I think when he’s in school doing school stuff he will be more willing to follow the crowd.”
Meyer says he and his student are expecting a possibility of more barriers today, and some things are switched around due to spacing like gym being in the cafeteria, and vice versa.