Superintendent update regarding Planning for 2020-2021 school year

on July 30, 2020

Inspire Monroe-Woodbury 20-21 logo

Dear Monroe-Woodbury families,

We have named the 2020-2021 school reopening process INSPIRE, as a reminder that the work we do with students, in any form, is about helping them shine, grow and be the best they can be. How we handle the uncertainties of today’s world, the way we model perseverance, patience and kindness, will be the most important part of their educational journey during these unsettling times.

Tomorrow the school district will submit its framework for reopening M-W schools to the state. We will be posting this information on the website, but please be aware that the substantive work – formation of school schedules, creation of a robust remote curriculum, teacher/student interactions and more – will take place during August. Prior to the start of the school year, the district will provide detailed information for students and parents/legal guardians that will help guide you as we embark on this journey together.

District leaders developed the framework for reopening with three essential priorities at the heart of each decision:

  • To ensure the safety and well-being of students, staff and families
  • To support the social emotional well-being of students, staff and families
  • To provide robust instruction to all students

We have spent many hours laboring over research and data, gathering input from staff, families and other important stakeholders, and reading the extensive guidelines offered by the NYS Education Department and NYS Department of Health. We believe that this plan best meets the needs of the Monroe-Woodbury community. It’s important to note that any proposed plans will be altered as the COVID-19 situation evolves in Orange County.

Outlined below are some important highlights from the initial reopening plan.

  • The district will not be able to accommodate in-person (traditional) instruction in September for the entire student body, based on state and local guidelines. We will be offering a hybrid instructional model as well as a fully remote option. Our instructional team and families must be prepared to pivot between the hybrid model and the fully remote model throughout the school year, as circumstances dictate.
  • If parents/legal guardians prefer to have their child(ren) remain at home, you will have the option to select the fully remote model exclusively for the first semester/trimester. Requests must be communicated in writing to your child’s building principal by Wednesday, August 12. Please contact your building principal if you have questions or concerns.
  • From Tuesday, September 1 through Friday, September 4, the district will be holding Superintendent Conference Days to allow time for staff professional development, safety protocol discussions, connectivity tests and more. Students will not be attending school on these days.
  • Students will be assigned a letter designation – A or B – by household. All children residing in the same household will attend school on the same day regardless of grade level. Students will attend school in person on alternating A/B days.
  • Note: A and B student groups may each initially be divided in half (A1, A2, B1, B2) to minimize the number of individuals in the buildings as we adjust to new protocols and procedures. In essence, each of these four subgroups represents one quarter of the student population. We will be implementing a phased in approach as students return to school.
  • The first day of school for students will be on Tuesday, September 8. Reminder: Labor Day (Monday, September 7) and Yom Kippur (Monday, September 28) are days off for all staff and students.
  • Remote learning will be conducted exclusively for the first two weeks of school: from Tuesday, September 8 – Friday, September 11 and from Monday, September 14 – Friday, September 18. This will allow time for both staff and students to acclimate to this new instructional model. We will be testing connectivity and providing time for teachers and students to get acquainted and discuss health and safety protocols within our schools and on our school buses.
  • Each Monday, beginning September 14, will be a remote synchronous day of learning until M-W fully returns to traditional, in classroom learning.
  • Beginning Tuesday, September 22, the A1 subgroup of students will attend school in the buildings, while the other three subgroups will participate in remote learning. Each subgroup will attend on subsequent days (B1 on Wednesday, A2 on Thursday, and so forth). This schedule will continue for two weeks.
  • On Tuesday, October 6, we will welcome all A students to school in person. On Wednesday, October 7, all B students will attend school in person. This alternating schedule will continue indefinitely until decisions regarding public schools are made at the state level.

Below are September and October 2020 calendars to help you better visualize how the opening of school will flow.

I will present details about the reopening plan to the Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education on Wednesday, August 5 at 6 p.m. I invite you to view the board meeting, which will be live streamed via the district’s YouTube channel.

I have included a link to a Q&A form so that you are able to share questions with district leaders. We will post questions and answers on the district website.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer. I will be in touch soon with more detailed information about the start of the school year. Remain well and be safe!

Warm regards,

Elsie Rodriguez
Superintendent of Schools

September calendar for back to school

October calendar of school