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Orange County prepares for school re-opening



Hybrid models prevail, mixing in-person and remote learning

schools, opening, kids, students, families, in person, online learning, Orange County

As local schools plan for re-opening, considerations include the size of the student population and the size of the school buildings, with each district calculating how to maintain social distancing during in-person schooling.

Most districts have come up with a hybrid model, but the parameters vary widely. Usually the emphasis is on in-person learning for elementary-level students, kids with special needs, and those receiving English language instruction. Older students are scheduled for remote learning, either full-time or an a part-time schedule, with onsite schooling one to four days a week, depending on the district's resources.

"As the father of three school-aged children, please know that I fully understand that anything but full in-person instruction for our students presents challenges for our families," Cornwall Superintendent of Schools Terry Dade wrote in a letter to parents. "Our focus will continue to be on the safety, well-being, and academic progress for our students."

Some schools have a transition period built into the plans. At Monroe-Woodbury, the first two weeks will be held completely online. For the next two weeks, students will get one day of in-person teaching, followed by a schedule of two days a week in person. 

Similarly, the biggest district in the county, the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, with 12,000 students, will begin with a month of remote learning. Students will gradually be brought into the buildings in three phases, on a timeline yet to be determined.

In contrast, administrators of the Greenwood Lake school district, which has only 475 students, are confident they can conduct all their instruction in person while maintaining proper social distancing and other safety protocols.

However, if spikes in COVID-19 infection occur within the schools, all students will most likely return to exclusively remote learning.

Check your individual school district's website for details on returning to school.



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