Scotch Plains-Fanwood Parents Must Decide On Fall Schooling Plans

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ — Scotch Plains and Fanwood parents have until Thursday at noon to decide whether they will be opt-out of in-person instruction and elect to have their child remain at home for virtual learning. The district released its reopening plan last week which includes two options: fully virtual […]

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ — Scotch Plains and Fanwood parents have until Thursday at noon to decide whether they will be opt-out of in-person instruction and elect to have their child remain at home for virtual learning.

The district released its reopening plan last week which includes two options: fully virtual or a hybrid model.

The hybrid model splits students into groups and divides the week into a mix of in-person learning and virtual learning days. (See the full plan below)

To help parents understand the plan the district is hosting virtual district discussions on the Restart Plan on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the Elementary level and Wednesday at 7 p.m. for the Middle School and High School levels.

These meetings will be open to parents and will provide an opportunity to discuss any questions parents may have regarding the Restart Plan.

Additionally, parents are also asked to fill out the SPF Public Schools Hybrid or On-line Learning Selection Survey, no later than noon on Thursday, to decide whether they will choose in-person or all virtual learning

After the district releases its reopening plan, a petition was started by parents in the community who are opposed to the virtual and hybrid plans and instead want a 5-day half-day plan. About 500 people have already signed the petition.

“I feel empathy for the unique challenges that parents have had to face since March because Covid-19 has greatly disrupted school sessions. The pressure on working parents who need to find solutions to support their child’s hybrid and virtual learning just adds additional burdens to what has already been a ‘crisis of limits’. Be assured that, as the year goes on, we will continuously monitor and evaluate any current plan and we will pivot and adjust our approach in response to
the existing available health data and direction given to us from the NJDOE and the Department of Health. The district will always make decisions prioritizing the safest environment for everyone. Please know that we all want the same goal: to ultimately have our students and our staff back in school full time for in-person learning,” wrote Dr. Joan Mast, Superintendent of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools, in a letter to parents.

The district’s reopening plan consists of the following highlights:

Preschool

The Scotch Plains – Fanwood Preschool Program will operate two sessions of instruction per day
following a hybrid schedule to provide as much in-person instruction as possible while also
maintaining small class sizes that allow for social distancing. Each session will be 2.5 hours in
duration. The morning session will meet from 8:35 to 11:05 a.m., and the afternoon session will meet from 12:40 to 3:10 p.m. In lieu of the hybrid model, families will also have the option to participate in fully-remote online learning sessions.

Hybrid Model (K-4)

  • Every effort will be made to assign siblings to the same cohort (BLUE or RED).

  • Students in the BLUE cohort will attend in-person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays.

  • Students in the RED cohort will attend in-person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays.

  • The BLUE and RED cohorts will be scheduled for in-person instruction on alternating Wednesdays.

  • Students will attend school following a modified single-session day schedule, with dropoff beginning at 8:25 a.m. Instruction will start at 8:35 a.m., and students will be dismissed at 12:50 p.m.

  • Lunch and recess will not be provided at school.

  • Students will participate in one hour of online small group sessions via videoconferencing during scheduled times in the afternoon with classroom or special area teachers. Additional instruction for Special Education, Basic Skills, QUEST, and Related Services will also be scheduled during this time for students who qualify.

  • On days when students are home, live instruction will be accessible via a videoconferencing platform.

Hybrid Model (5-8)

  • Every effort will be made to assign siblings to the same cohort (BLUE or RED).

  • Students in the BLUE cohort will attend in-person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays.

  • Students in the RED cohort will attend in-person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays.

  • The BLUE and RED cohorts will participate in online learning on Wednesdays.

  • Students at the middle schools will receive a full day of instruction using the following schedule:

  • Periods in grades 6-8 are 55 minutes in length; periods in grade 5 are 65 minutes in length.

  • During the morning session (8:10 to 12:20), students will attend their period 1-4 classes on “A” days and period 5-9 classes on “B” days.

  • During the afternoon session (1:40-2:42) students will engage in online instructional sessions with their teachers.

  • Only the morning session will meet in person based on assigned cohorts (BLUE or RED)

  • Lunch and recess will not be provided at school.

  • Students will participate in one hour of additional online sessions via videoconferencing platforms during scheduled times in the afternoon.

  • On days when students are home, they will participate synchronously in their classes via a video conferencing platform.

  • While everyone is remote online learning on Wednesday, the same schedule will be followed.

Hybrid Model (9-12)

  • Every effort will be made to assign siblings to the same cohort (BLUE or RED).

  • Students in the BLUE cohort will attend in-person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays.

  • Students in the RED cohort will attend in-person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays.

  • The BLUE and RED cohorts will participate in online learning on Wednesdays.

  • Students at the high school will receive a full day of instruction using the following schedule:

  • Periods in grades 9-12 are approximately 55 minutes in length; During the morning session, students will attend their block 1A-4A classes on “A” days and block 1B-4B classes on “B” days.

  • During the afternoon session (1:08-2:24) students will engage in online instructional sessions with their teachers.

  • Only the morning session will meet in person based on assigned cohorts (BLUE or RED).

  • Lunch will not be served at school. A 60-minute break is allotted for dismissal and lunch.

  • On days when students are home on remote online learning instruction, they will participate synchronously in their classes via a video conferencing platform.

  • While everyone is remote online learning on Wednesday, the same schedule will be followed.

See below for the entire plan:

Scotch Plains-Fanwood Restart Plan by Alexis Tarrazi on Scribd

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This article originally appeared on the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Patch

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