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Buffalo, 36 school districts file reopening plans; see how their hybrid plans differ

Buffalo, 36 school districts file reopening plans; see how their hybrid plans differ

Covid-19 school supplies

Support staff Gabriella Harris, left, and teacher aide Jennifer Casillas look for a packet for a particular student as teachers and staff at Frederick Law Olmsted Elementary School PS64 send home classwork for students while schools were closed in March. 

It seems likely that schools in Western New York will get the green light to reopen this fall, based on current Covid-19 infection rates. 

But many local schools say that if that happens, they will not be able to fit all their students in the schools, given the requirements for social distancing. That means many schools likely will adopt a hybrid model that combines some remote instruction with some in-person instruction.

School districts across New York just posted their plans on how they would reopen if they get the go-ahead. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he'll announce in the next few days whether schools can resume instruction in person. 

The district plans, which were due Friday, address how they would handle different scenarios: 100% in person learning, 100% remote learning and a hybrid of the two.

Here are the districts in Erie and Niagara counties that have posted their plans so far, along with a brief description of what their hybrid model would look like:

Akron:

  • Considering two possible hybrid models. Both involve students attending in person two days a week and learning remotely three days a week. 

Alden:

  • “50% face-to-face and 50% remote learning simultaneously.”

Amherst:

  • Elementary: In person two days a week. Independent work at home two days a week through Google Classroom or paper assignments. Synchronous remote instruction on Wednesdays.

  • Middle and high school: In person two days a week. Remote synchronous instruction two days a week, following the same bell schedule as they would in person. Independent work at home on Wednesday.

Buffalo:

  • All students will attend in person every other day, with remote instruction on days they are not in school. District is looking at teaching core academic subjects on days students are in the schools, with specials taught remotely. 

Cheektowaga:

  • Students will attend in person Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday and learn remotely the other three days.

Clarence:

  • Elementary: Students will attend school five days a week – half of the day in person, and half of the day remotely. Those with last names beginning with A through K will attend in person in the morning, and the rest will attend in person in the afternoon.
  • Middle school and high school: Students will attend school in person two days a week and remotely three days a week. In the middle school, on remote instruction days, classes will end at 11:59 a.m. versus 3:35 p.m. for in person days. For the high school, remote days will end at 12:26 p.m. instead of 3:30 p.m.

Cleveland Hill: 

  • Alternate days in school with remote learning, and have three days in-person learning every other week.

Depew (plan is not yet final):

  • Considering three options. In one, students attend in person two days a week and online three days a week. In another, all elementary students attend in person, and all high school students learn remotely. In the third, elementary students attend in person two days a week and learn remotely three days a week; high school students would learn remotely.

Eden:

  • Students will attend in person two days a week – either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. All students will learn remotely on Wednesday, as well as the other two days they are not in person.

Frontier:

  • Elementary and middle school: Two options are under consideration, both of which would have students attending two days a week in person and receiving remote instruction the other three. 

    In one plan, they would attend in person either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. In the other, they would attend in person either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday.

  • High school: Students will attend in person every other day and receive remote instruction on the days they are not in the classroom.

Grand Island:

  • Students will attend in person two days and remotely three days. Those whose last name starts with A through L will attend in person on Monday and Thursday. The rest will attend in person on Tuesday and Friday. All students will learn remotely on Wednesday.
  • On days that students attend school in person, daily start and end times will be staggered. The earliest day will be at the middle school, where classes will begin at 7:15 a.m. and end at 1:25 p.m. Sidway will be the latest, starting at 9:05 a.m. and ending at 3:35 p.m. 

Hamburg:

  • Students will attend in person either Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays. The other three days of the week, they will receive remote instruction.

Holland:

  • Pre-K to fourth grade: All students will attend in person every day. Each classroom will divide its students into two groups, each in a different physical location. Half will be with a teacher aide and half will be with a teacher.

  • Middle school and high school: Students will attend in person either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday, and every other Friday. High school classes on in-person days begin at 7:35 a.m. and end at 12:51 p.m. For the middle school, they will begin at 7:20 a.m. and end at 12:36 p.m.

Iroquois:

  • Will begin the year with students attending every other day in person, learning remotely on the other days. Parents will have a choice of whether to have their children do full remote instruction.

  • Once it’s safe to transition, the district will move to 100% in person instruction, with parents continuing to have the option to have their children do full remote instruction.

Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda:

  • Students will attend school every other day in person, with remote instruction on alternating days.

Lackawanna:

  • Looking at two models: Half the students would attend in person Monday and Tuesday and the other half Thursday and Friday. Remote instruction takes place for everyone on Wednesday, as well as the other two days they are not in a school building. The second scenario would have students attending school in person every other day.

Lake Shore:

  • Half the student population will attend school in person on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the other half will attend in person on Thursday and Friday. All will work remotely on Monday and the days they are not in the school building. Remote learning will include independent work and study and will evolve into live interaction with teachers as the year progresses.

Lancaster (plan is not yet final): 

  • Exploring at least six models that include students going to school buildings two times a week, with remote instruction the other three days, attending school in person three days one week and two days the following week or alternating entire weeks of in-person and remote learning. 

Maryvale:

  • Students divided into two groups with one attending in person Monday and Tuesday and the other going on Thursday and Friday. Remote learning for all on Wednesday and when not in the school building.

North Collins:

  • Students split into two groups, one will attend in person Monday and Thursday and the other group will attend Tuesday and Friday. All students will have remote learning on Wednesday and the days they are not physically in school. During weeks with a holiday, students will have two days in school and two days of remote learning.

Orchard Park

  • Kindergarten through second grade: all in person. Grades three through five: In person unless class sizes become too large, then would alternate every other day in-person and remote.
  • Middle and high schools: alternate in school and remote every other day.

Sloan:

  • Students divided into two groups, with half getting in-person instruction Monday and Tuesday and half on Thursday and Friday. Remote instruction occurs on Wednesday and the days they are not in the school building.

Springville:

  • Half the number of students will attend in person Monday and Tuesday and half will attend Thursday and Friday. All students will learn remotely on Wednesday and on their non in-person days.

Sweet Home:

  • Students divided into two “houses,” with one attending school Monday and Tuesday and the other on Thursday and Friday. All students will receive remote learning on Wednesday and the days they are not in the school building.

Tonawanda:

  • Half of students go in to school Monday and Thursday, and the other half attend Tuesday and Friday. Virtual learning takes place the opposite days, and every Wednesday. Teachers available for live questions at designated times on Wednesday.

West Seneca

  • Remote instruction for all students on Wednesday plus the two days they are not in school. Half of students attend in person Monday and Thursday, half attend Tuesday and Friday. Students with special considerations attend four days.

Williamsville:

  • Students with last names starting with A to L will be in the classroom Monday and Tuesday. The rest will be in person Thursday and Friday. Students will receive remote instruction the other three days.

Niagara County

Barker:

  • Remote instruction three days a week; in person two days a week. Students will also have a full remote option.

Lewiston-Porter:

  • Students will attend in person either Tuesday and Wednesday or Thursday and Friday. On the other three days of the week, they will learn remotely.

Lockport:

  • All students will report to school for in-person instruction every other day. They will be assigned by the primary family last name to either a "blue" day or a "gold" day. On opposite days, they will learn remotely.

  • School schedules will be staggered for social distancing. High school students will start their in-school days the earliest, at 7:40 a.m. Kindergarten through fourth grade students will start at 9:10 a.m.

Newfane:

  • Two groups of students alternate between attending school in person and remotely every other day.
  • In the event in-person learning is allowed, Newfane Elementary would have groups of about 12 students by using space in the library, cafeteria and special services for classrooms. All staff with elementary teaching certification would be assigned groups of students.

Niagara Falls:

  • Students will attend in person either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. The other three days, they will learn remotely.

Niagara Wheatfield:

  • Students will be split into two groups and attend school in person every other day. Remote learning will include activities that have been assigned by the teacher. If possible, elementary students would attend daily starting Sept. 22.

North Tonawanda:

  • Remote learning for all students on Wednesday, when teachers can plan and have professional learning and office hours. Half the student body attends in person Monday and Tuesday, and half attends Thursday and Friday, and remote learning takes place when children are not physically in school. 

Royalton-Hartland

  • Remote learning for all students on Wednesday. Half of students attend in person Monday and Tuesday and half attend Thursday and Friday. Virtual learning takes place when students are home. Some special education classes and pre-kindergarten classes attend in person four days a week.

Starpoint:

  • Students in kindergarten to grade five will attend school 100% in person. Students grades six to 12 would have a hybrid schedule, with half the students attending in-person on Monday and Thursday and the other half on Tuesday and Friday, with all virtual learning on Wednesdays.

Wilson:

  • Students will attend in person either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. On the other three days of each week, students will learn remotely.

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Chief of the Breaking News/Criminal Justice Desk

I've worked at The Buffalo News since 2005. I previously worked as a reporter at the New York Daily News and the Charlotte Observer and was a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

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