NORWICH – Norwich City School District has submitted the first copy of their school's reopening plan to New York State for review. However, Interim Superintendent Diana Bowers said this will most likely just be the first of several versions before the plan is finalized.
School districts in New York were sent an 145 page guidance book on the requirements and protocols schools must meet in order to be able to reopen from New York State Education Department. Norwich School also met with community and parent groups, teachers, and the Department of Health when creating their plans for reopening.
"I think that one of the more difficult parts of creating a plan is the guidance keeps changing. Day by day the guidance was changed. We understand why it happened, they were trying to figure things out, so it took some time," said Bowers. "There are a number of things we had to figure out. The primary thing people should know is the safety of students and faculty were the predominant drivers of what we're doing."
The school will be offering three informational sessions for parents to ask questions and hear more about the plan. The first meeting will be held August 18 at 6 p.m. Two additional meetings will be held on August 19, the first at 10 a.m. and the second at 5 p.m. These meetings can also be accessed by Zoom conference call. The information to access the meetings is listed on the schools website.
The district plans to do a soft opening with limited activities the weekend after Labor Day, but the students’ first day in regular session will be Monday, September 21.
Both Perry Browne and Stanford Gibson schools will be open five days a week with all children attending all days. A Stanford Gibson school day will run from 8:15 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. and a Perry Browne Day will run from 7:30 a.m. to 1:25 p.m. Temperature checks will be done upon entry to the school and students will spend the majority of their day in a single classroom with movement breaks during Physical Education and recess.
Physical Education classes will still be available to students, but the NYS guidance states they must maintain a 12 foot distance during the class instead of the standard six.