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Change in elementary instructional model

Dear Grades K-5 Families,

When the district first began working to develop its reopening plans this summer, our mission was to create re-entry plans that adhered to New York State guidelines for reopening schools and provide an optimal setting for the health, safety, and education of students. At Schuylerville, we are committed to reviewing our practices to ensure we are providing the best education for all students, regardless of their model of instruction, during this challenging time. 

As we approach the five week mark of reopening, the district is planning for a virtual school.  We feel confident that the virtual school will benefit all students, both remote and in-person, due to the significant challenges that elementary students face, based on their developmental age, in navigating the independent hybrid expectations and their independent technological abilities. 

The virtual school will open on Monday, October 19th for remote learners.  The three virtual teachers are current Schuylerville elementary teachers that will remain in the building to support remote learners.   Direct instruction will be provided in the areas of English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.  Science and social studies will continue to be cross-curricular and embedded in the ELA and math curriculum.  

Remote learners will continue to have access to special area classes in the virtual school. Music, library, art and social emotional learning (SEL) will have a live, virtual option, and physical education (PE) will continue to be asynchronous. Remote learner families will be provided with a new schedule outlining virtual learning times and a continued expectation of joining their class a minimum two times a day.  Remote learners will be working with other remote learners in their respective grade level and no longer joined by in-person learners sitting in the classroom.  The average class size of remote learners at each grade level is 20 students.  

In-person classroom teachers will be responsible for in-person learners only, with the exception of students with an IEP. Remote learners with an IEP will remain with their current teacher and will be supported by a special education teacher for remote instruction. Life skills students will remain in the life skills classroom regardless of their model of instruction. 

Due to the in-person and remote models of instruction running separately, in-person learners that are absent from school will not have the opportunity to participate in the virtual school.  Classroom teachers will provide in-person learners who are absent from school work to complete while out of school.  Daily attendance will be taken for all students regardless of their model of instruction.  Attendance, when healthy and able, is critical for student success and must be made a priority for families.

Since the virtual school teachers are current elementary classroom teachers, 34 in-person students will be reassigned to a new teacher; 10 kindergarten students from Mr. Jennings’ class, 12 second grade students from Ms. Froats’ class and 12 third grade students from Mrs. Thivierge’s class. Transition opportunities for reassigned in-person learners will be a priority (i.e. meet the teacher, tour the new classroom, etc.).

Virtual school teacher assignments

  • Kindergarten: Mr. Andy Jennings
  • Grade 1: Mr. Andy Jennings
  • Grade 2: Mrs. Ruth Anne Thivierge
  • Grade 3: Mrs. Ruth Anne Thivierge
  • Grade 4: Ms. Melissa Froats
  • Grade 5: Ms. Melissa Froats

Virtual School Benefits

We feel the implementation of a virtual school will have many benefits for all learners. Below are some of the expected benefits of the new instructional model at the elementary level:

  • Increased contact time between teachers and students, regardless of the model of instruction
  • Increased academic engagement for all learners regardless of the model of instruction
  • Increased pace of instructional delivery 
  • Less downtime for in-person learners awaiting resolutions to technical glitches of remote learners
  • Less downtime for remote learners awaiting resolution to classroom management needs of in-person learners
  • Virtual teachers will be able to conference with students in small groups or individually 
  • Virtual teachers will have the ability to support students at a greater level with technology needs 

Important dates

Wednesday, October 7: 

Placement letters for virtual learners and re-assignment letters for in-person learners will go out via email.

Thursday, October 8, 6:00 p.m.: 

A virtual information session will be held for parents about the change in the instructional model. Questions can be pre-submitted via this Google Form or asked live during the event. Questions should be submitted by Oct. 6 so there is time to review them.

Week of October 13-16: 

Transition opportunities for reassigned in-person learners (i.e. meet the teacher, tour the new classroom, etc.).

Monday, October 19: 

Virtual school begins.

Wednesday, October 28 & Thursday, October 29: 

Rescheduled virtual open houses for all students in grades K-5, regardless of their model of instruction.  We will NOT hold an open house on October 7 and 8 as originally scheduled.  Again, the new open house dates are October 28 and 29.  A schedule will be forthcoming with specific grade level times and Google Meet codes. 

Changing Instructional Models

Every five weeks, families will continue to have the option of changing their child’s model of instruction (from in-person to remote or from remote to in-person). If you are planning on making a change, please contact Principal Beckett directly and she will assist you with this process. 

Ensuring that the health, safety, academic, behavioral, and social emotional needs of all of our students are being met will remain our priority. We thank you for your continued support of our district. The home and school relationship is important and one that we value. We are here to support our families and students in any way that we can. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Thank you,

Mrs. Rose Beckett
Elementary Principal

Dr. Ryan Sherman
Superintendent