New York City Public Schools will be incorporating up to five different models to accommodate a combination of in-person and remote learning when doors open in September.
Key tenets of the plan include the ability for families to opt out of in-person instruction and choose remote learning full time. Additionally, schools will aim to provide in-person instruction to at least 33 percent of students, and the median range of students per classroom will be 9-12 to adhere to social distancing.
Katie Maro, chief of staff at the NYC Department of Education, presented the models during last night’s virtual town hall meeting sponsored by Councilman Keith Powers (D) and co-sponsored by Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright (D) and Community Board 8 Manhattan.
Model 1 is an option for elementary, middle and high schools and will consist of two in-person cohorts that will attend school every other day of the week, and one remote. Groups A and B will rotate attendance on Mondays. There’s an option to program for each group to be in-person every other day, Model 1A, or in-person two days and remote for three days (Model 1B).
Model 2 will consist of three in-person cohorts for one to two days per week with alternating weeks, and one remote. According to DOE, this model provides regularity on days per week with some variation by week. For example, Group A is in-person every Wednesday, as well as on Monday in week 1 and Tuesday in week 3.
In addition, Model 3 will also consist of three in-person cohorts and one remote with six-day rotations. Groups A, B and C will learn in person one to two days per week, while they’ll learn remotely for non-in person days.
Also, Model 4 will apply to District 75 schools, which are schools that provide highly specialized instructional support for students with significant challenges. There’ll be two in-person cohorts, and one remote. Each group will receive a week of in-person instruction every other week, while the remote group, Group D, will be remote every day for students who opt-out of in-person instruction. There’ll be an alternate model as well, (Model 4B) that’ll include a group of students, Group C, that would be full-time in-person.
Finally, Model 5 also pertains to District 75 Schools, consisting of two in-person cohorts and one remote. Two groups, A & B, will participate in in-person learning on two consistent days per week plus alternative Mondays. Remote learning will occur for non-in person days. Group D will be remote every day, and an alternate model (5B) would include a group of students that would be full-time in-person.
Families have until August 7 to choose which model they prefer.
Councilman Keith Powers then said that parents are going to want to figure out what’s best for them, and asked Acting First Deputy Chancellor Donald Conyers how is this process going to work to help a school choose a model, and what role do parents play in that process.
Conyers explained that principals will be in consultation with students’ School Leadership Teams (SLT) in examining the models that best suit them.
“By August 10 we expect all principals to hold at least one virtual family meeting where parents have the opportunity to hear about the model that has been selected in consultation with the SLT based upon the data and the needs of the school community,” began Conyers.
"Parents weigh in and provide feedback, principals hear the feedback, they then make any consideration or changes that may be necessary, or not. And then the principal submits by August 14 the model choice that the school community has selected.”
According to Conyers, there may be some rare opportunity for schools to put in for an exception to the models that have been proposed, and an exception committee will consider the particular requests.
Then on August 21, the Superintendents approve any exceptions to the proposed models.