Hornell Announces The Fall 2020 Reopening Plan

July 31 2020

From The Hornell School System:

The Hornell City School District has announced its plan for reopening schools in September. In a letter to parents, Superintendent Jeremy Palotti said the plans aim to maintain the safest environment possible while providing rich instruction.

“Balancing these two inside of the current guidelines issued from the New York State Department of Education and the New York State Department of Health have made this challenging for schools,” he said. “Our plans also have to be flexible and allow for seamless transitions between in-person instruction and remote learning, should schools have to be closed due to sickness within the schools, community, and/or region.”

According to Palotti, the district will adopt a hybrid model when schools reopen in September, with students divided into two groups (keeping households together) and following this schedule:
● Monday: Group A attends in person with Group B attending remotely
● Tuesday: Group B attends in person with Group A attending remotely
● Wednesday: Group A and B attend remotely with live remote instruction – schools get a deep cleaning, teachers prepare remote work for when students are not in session
● Thursday: Group A attends in person with Group B attending remotely
● Friday: Group B attends in person with Group A attending remotely

We are breaking A/B groups by household so that an entire household will follow the same schedule. Households will learn their assignment from individual schools early next week. Questions about assignments can be directed to principals. Please wait until assignments have been made.

By reducing the numbers of students physically present on campus, the district can provide safe transport to school, safe transitions within the building and safety in the classroom as fewer students will allow for social distancing. Students also will be required to wear masks and/or work behind barriers when social distancing is more difficult.

“Our hope is that by opening in a hybrid model initially, we will gradually be able to increase capacity over time,” Palotti said. “As we open, we will use the month of September to assess the safety of our current plan and if permitted, we would look to increase student in-person attendance starting with our
youngest students and growing from there. By the end of September, we will be able to communicate if and how this will occur.”

The district’s plan is conditional on approval from Governor Cuomo. The district should be notified if this model of instruction will be allowed on August 7.

Key points for parents:
• Bussing requests can be made through August 13. We’re encouraging all families to complete the busing questionnaire even if their children walk to give us the most reliable data. Please complete the following document https://bit.ly/308juJa
• Registration for total remote learning – If you wish to register your child for a total remote learning plan for the start of the year, please call or email the registration office by August 13. – https://www.hornellcityschools.com/domain/1034 elizabeth.norton@hornellcsd.org
• The district is in regular communication with the Hornell Children’s Home and Hornell Area YMCA. Expanded childcare options with our hybrid schedule in mind are prepared and will be offered to families on their locations and within our school buildings. Please call the Children’s Home and YMCA directly to inquire about options.
Reopening plan: https://www.hornellcityschools.com/Page/1420
Reopening guidance from NYS: https://www.hornellcityschools.com/domain/1145