Sunday, December 3, 2023

York County will begin phased in-person instruction next week. Here’s what you need to know

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pexels)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pexels)

The York County School Division will begin to implement in-person learning starting this Monday through their hybrid model.

The returning groups will be students in self-contained programs and outdoor athletics conditions, and level one English language learners. These students will have two days of face-to-face instruction with three days of asynchronous learning.

Candi Skinner, chief academic officer, said in a phone interview they may be blending synchronous and asynchronous learning. A hybrid model is two days of face-to-face instruction and three days of asynchronous learning.

Skinner also added virtual learning can be just as engaging as in-person instruction.

“We’ve become very comfortable with the technology of bringing students at home into the classroom with the teacher,” Skinner said. “You’re going to find that there’s going to be times when our students will be in class and we’re going to try to reduce screen time for those students as much as possible in the classroom.”

Skinner emphasized the division’s ability to be flexible while in the hybrid model. Depending on the need of the student, the teacher may bring them in for in-person instruction while virtually engaging with other students.

“Even on those three days that they are learning at home, they will have that opportunity to engage with their teacher at the start of their day,” Katherine Goff, YCSD spokeswoman, said. “It is an expectation for all families that the students continue to see their teacher at the start of their school day.”

As for health and safety, Goff said division Superintendent Victor Shandor and chief operations officer Jim Carroll walked one of the buildings this past week with Kevin Pearce, emergency coordinator with the Peninsula Health District.

Carroll said the safety regulations in place actually exceeded his expectations.

Buildings are equipped with sprayers and hand sanitizer stations. Arrows have been painted on floors to direct foot traffic and enforce social distancing, he said.

The division is also providing staff with disinfectant. Carroll added the division has multiple barrels of concentrated disinfectant.

“We are encouraging our people not to be conservative with the disinfectant. We have plenty of it,” he said.

The division’s Return to School website further describes their health and safety procedures as well as their response plan if a student or staff member begins to feel ill on school premises.

All students and staff are required to complete a daily health screening before coming to school. Temperatures will be checked when students and staff are symptomatic or suspected of being infected. The school nurse will use a confidential notebook system to record staff temperatures.

Teachers are required to provide hourly visual checks in class. Any student or staff member who appears unwell will be sent to the nurse’s clinic for evaluation.

If a student has a fever of 100 degrees or higher, or has any COVID-19 related symptoms, then the school nurse will contact the student’s guardian to pick them up, place the student in a “quick quarantine” room, and notify the school principal and YCSD health services coordinator.

If a positive case of COVID-19 is reported from either a staff member or student, then that specific school will be closed for two to five days.


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