One year ago this week we closed our school doors due to COVID. Our HFCSD 2020-21 return to school plan has followed all Department of Health and New York Department of Education guidelines while providing our students with the most amount of time in front of their classroom teachers as our pandemic reality has allowed.
Beginning on Friday, March 12, we are expanding the learning that will happen on our Virtual Fridays. For all students, this will mean more facetime with teachers, in both large and small groups. For students in grades 1-5, this will also mean extra support. For secondary students, this will be in the form of a shortened schedule of classes. Principals and teachers will provide our families with more information about what Fridays will look like in each specific class.
In looking around our world, New York State and at home in Hudson Falls the impact of COVID is starting to change. More people are becoming fully vaccinated, the rates of infection are at a different point than they were even a few months ago, and the arc of the disease is beginning to change for the better. Now is the time for our district to begin to look beyond managing COVID. Therefore we are changing and will move from reacting to the virus to transitioning back to what school looked like a little over a year ago.
We are confident that the time is right to begin making these changes. We cannot wait until the next school year to begin giving our students extra support. We are here for our students now to help close the gap on grade-level skills.
We will continue to transition and find ways to strengthen our instruction throughout the remainder of this school year. We have heard the feedback from our school community that our students need to be back in the classroom and this is the first of many steps toward getting all of our students back into our classrooms full-time including on Fridays. Our district has been careful all year long to balance the health and safety of our students and staff, with our desire to educate as many students in-person as possible.
Dr. Jon Hunter, Interim Superintendent