April 22, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Earlier this month, the NYS Department of Health adopted the Center for Disease Control recommendations for the reduction of physical distancing required in schools from 6’ to 3’.This change now allows Gloversville Enlarged School District to bring back our current hybrid PreK-8th grade students for in-person instruction five days per week for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
Unfortunately, we are not able to bring back our high school students at this time due to our inability to cohort students in that building. We understand some may have reservations about a schedule change late in the school year, but we strongly believe it is in the best interest of our students.
On Monday, May 3, 2021, all current PreK-8th grade hybrid students will return to in-person instruction five days per week for the remainder of the school year. Fully remote students will remain remote at this time. Our schools have created reopening plans that address safety requirements set forth by the Department of Health and we are confident that we will be in compliance.
On Friday, April 30, 2021, all students, both Huskies and Dragons, in grades Prek-8th, will be fully remote. We are doing this to provide time for teachers and staff to prepare classrooms for the return of all hybrid students on Monday May 3rd. High School (Husky students) will report to school on Friday, April 30, 2021 as scheduled. Breakfast and lunches will be available for pick up at our elementary and middle schools on that date as well. In an effort to answer questions from parents and guardians, we will hold a virtual town hall forum on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 6:00 PM. The forum will be streamed live on the district Facebook page.
We have asked our teachers to make the return to five days of in-person instruction an enjoyable experience for all. We expect students to be challenged and their learning should include opportunities for exploration and discovery, research, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity. Above all else, though, we want students to have fun. We intend to have classes go outside when able, play games and genuinely enjoy themselves. It is important that we let students decompress and talk about the past year. Our goals for the remainder of the school year are straightforward. We wish to acclimate our students back to a regular school schedule, informally assess their academic, social and emotional well-being and learn from the experience to inform our summer planning for next school year. The physical distance reduction to three feet during instruction does mean that students will need to wear masks during classroom instruction (a practice that nearly every district around us has had in place since September), but we will have scheduled mask breaks and hope to use outdoor spaces as much as possible, thus allowing students to remove masks throughout the day.
We appreciate your continued support and flexibility as we navigate through these unprecedented times together. Over the past year, we have strived to minimize COVID-19’s impact on your children's education and, although I am proud of our efforts, there is no denying that many of our students have been negatively impacted by the loss of quality in-person instructional time. This understanding is the primary reason the Department of Health reduced the physical distancing requirements to three feet, and we as a school district would be remiss to not take full advantage of this change immediately.
Superintendent of Schools