Saugerties schools to begin in-person instruction two days a week

Since the beginning of the school year, students throughout Ulster County in grades K-12 have been learning remotely. But that’s about to change for students in the Saugerties School District, who will transition from virtual to hybrid learning on Monday, October 5.

“I’d like to thank our entire staff for their amazing efforts in preparing our students and our buildings for a safe return,” said superintendent Kirk Reinhardt in a letter posted on the district’s website. “Our community’s participation in both our reopening task force and our virtual town-hall meetings provided the district with valuable insight, and we have made changes to our protocols and reopening plans based on this feedback.”

According to the plan outlined by Reinhardt, Saugerties students have been broken into two cohorts, alphabetically by last name. Children in the same household with different surnames are assigned the same cohort. Cohort 1, students with last names beginning with the letters A-K, will attend school on Mondays and Thursdays. Cohort 2 will consist of students with last names beginning with the letters L-Z and they will attend on Tuesdays and Fridays. Learning will be 100 percent remote for all students on Wednesdays.

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“These days will provide teachers with flexibility for whole-class instruction, dedicated time to re-teaching and provide enrichment and additional opportunities for direct instruction in specific grades and/or courses,” explained Reinhardt.  Parents may also choose to have their children educated entirely remotely. Directions to request 100 percent remote learning are available at https://sites.google.com/saugerties.k12.ny.us/scsd-covid-reopening-plan-2020/home.

“If at any point you would like to change the learning model in which your child currently participates, you will be permitted to do so,” Reinhardt added. “Our staff is here to help. and we encourage everyone to continue keeping the lines of communication open during the days and weeks ahead. We understand that you may have questions and concerns regarding the health and safety of your child as they prepare to return to in-person learning. Please be assured that we are taking extensive precautions.”

The superintendent expressed his thanks for public support and patience. “Saugerties is a strong community because of its ability to work together and find a common vision,” he said. “Our vision right now is to use all of our gifts to come together to provide the safest and best academic environment for our students to reach their goals.”

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