Manhasset district announces prospective plans for reopening

Manhasset Secondary School will be operating remotely for the next week. (Photo courtesy of Manhasset school district)

The Manhasset School District has announced that it has developed models for reopening in the fall while dealing with the effects and preventing spread of the coronavirus.

The district is awaiting pending decision of Gov. Andrew Cuomo on which model schools will follow.

A district-run task force, made of over 200 students, parents, teachers, administrators, staff and community members, worked to create the model, according to district Superintendent Vincent Butera.

“We are indebted to the work of these individuals who gave up so much of their time over the summer to really come up with a product that reflects the very best thinking that we could do,” Butera said at the district’s school board meeting on July 30.

To accommodate hybrid learning, students will spend half of their time in the school building and the other half remotely on their district-issued Chromebooks. In classrooms, a camera and laptop will broadcast the class to those at home.

Separate plans have been developed for students in the area’s elementary and secondary schools.

In all instances, students will be asked to bring two face masks, wearing one, and have parents check their temperature each day, with students who test over 100 degrees Fahrenheit asked to remain home. Health screening attestations will also be required to be filled out for every student prior to the beginning of school.

For students at Munsey Park Elementary School and Shelter Rock Elementary School, those in grades Kindergarten to 2nd grade will receive full-time classroom instruction in both prospective options.

The district’s first option then allows for a hybrid model of instruction,  for students in grades 3 through 6. Option two allows for full-time in person instruction for grades three and four, and hybrid learning for grades 5 and 6.

Most special elementary classes, which include art, music, science, computers and librarians, will provide instruction in classrooms rather than out of their own rooms in order to reduce “in-school movement,” the district says.

Physical education will occur in the school’s gymnasiums or, weather permitting, outside, with 12 feet between each student and an emphasis on individual activities rather than working in teams, in order to avoid physical contact.

Students at Manhasset Secondary School will be instructed in a hybrid fashion, and will physically attend class every other day.

On the days that students are not in their classrooms, they will participate in classroom instruction through Zoom video conferencing from their home.

Beginning on the first day of school on Sept. 8, students with last names beginning with A through L will attend on “A” days, with students with last names beginning with M through Z learning remotely. On following “B” days, the students who stayed home on “A” days will attend school in-person.

To ensure academic integrity during tests, each day will a testing schedule by subject for teachers to administer exams to multiple sections at the same time to avoid chances of answers falling into different students’ hands. Students will then be informed by their teacher if they are utilizing the testing period that day.

In both institutions, grading will remain the same. Regarding transportation, students will continue to be required to wear masks.

The district will announce its official plan once the state decides if schools will follow a hybrid or remote model.

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Rose Weldon

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