RCSD reverses course, will develop in-person learning plan for grades 7-12

Updated: December 30, 2020 05:30 PM
Created: December 30, 2020 12:50 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester City School District Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small has instructed her team to come up with a hybrid learning model for students in grades 7-12.

Those students were set to learn at home the rest of the way, with only students in specialized programs, and students K-6 being allowed to return to their home schools in a phased approach.

In a tweet thread Wednesday, Dr. Myers-Small said the district is developing learning pods for 7-12. She says In December, only 25% of students expressed their desire to participate in hybrid learning. And with medical experts telling the district that school is the safest place for students, Myers-Small said she "strongly believes" all students need to be back in school.

"For the sake of equity and opportunity to that of elementary students, I have asked my team to work on a plan that could bring those students who selected hybrid learning in grades 7-12 back into our buildings for two days of in-person learning in early 2021," Myers-Small said.

The phased approach was previously praised by the president of the Rochester Teachers' Association and gained support from some parents.

No timetable was announced for the plan, but Myers-Small says she will share it once it is finalized.

The president of the teachers union, Adam Urbanski, said he connected with the superintendent Wednesday to ask for clarification and was told nothing has been set in stone yet.

"Meanwhile our best understanding and interpretation is that they are trying to bring equity to secondary students so they have an equal opportunity to that of elementary students to begin some sort of face to face learning access," Urbanski said. "High school and middle school students would get that in a proportional way, pretty much equivalent for what will be the case for elementary students."

Urbanski says he expects more definitive answers from the district sometime next week.

This is a developing story, stay tuned to News10NBC starting at 5:00 for a closer look.

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