UTICA, N.Y. -- After nearly a full year of learning in front of a computer screen, students in Utica are set to return to classrooms in two weeks.
In a meeting tonight, the Utica City School District Board of Education approved a plan to allow K-6 students to learn in person twice a week starting March 8. The plan, laid out by District Administrative Director Steven Falchi, splits elementary school students into two cohorts, with one attending in person on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other on Thursdays and Fridays. All students will be remote on Wednesdays.
In-person students will not change classrooms throughout the day, and lunch will be brought back to the classrooms to eat. Specialized instruction such as in music will also be brought to classrooms. Buses will be limited to one-third of capacity, with a Vice President from Bernie Bus Service pledging to work with the district to provide suitable transportation for all students.
The board also voted to give Superintendent Bruce Karam the authority to reopen middle and high schools at his discretion. Karam stated that he would like to see middle schools go hybrid two to three weeks after elementary schools, and for high schools to follow "shortly after" to ensure smoothness in the system. Falchi proposed hybrid formats for middle and high schools, with the middle school format identical to the elementary school plan, and for high school students to be split into five cohorts and to come into school once a week instead of twice.