• What specifications do you recommend for families contemplating purchasing a mobile device?

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    Click here for our recommended device specifications.

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  • If COVID rates are below 5% so schools can open, what other criteria determine hybrid vs fully open?

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    Governor Cuomo has stated schools can follow plans for re-opening schools for in-person learning when the infection rate in a region is 5% or lower. Since the Westchester County region is below the 5% threshold, Eastchester UFSD is free to determine the degree to what degree schools should be open for in-person instruction in accordance with its plan.

    Currently we have two in-person options in our plan: a hybrid option and a fully in-person option. The Department of Health and the NYS Education Department have recently issued guidance documents that districts must follow in determining to what extent to open and how to operate. One of the big factors in the guidance is the social distancing requirement of six feet or the extensive use of barriers. A typical classroom can only accommodate about half the number of students under the six foot requirement. This effectively reduces the capacity of the school by 50%, which caused us to look at ways to meet the distancing requirement. There are different ways to accomplish this, and we looked at many of them.  

    For example, we explored bringing all elementary students back at regular density using three-sided desk barriers. We soon realized, however, that the movement patterns of younger children would not enable them to remain within the confines of the barriers consistently enough to meet the current regulations. We also felt that this might force more families to elect to remain home in a fully remote situation.
     
    We also explored having high school students receive fully remote learning and distributing K-5 students throughout the district at half density. The big problem we ran into with this model is the exceptionally high cost of staffing. By effectively doubling the number of K-5 sections, we would have added approximately sixty classrooms, each needing a teacher or teacher assistant to supervise the learning. While we could redeploy some of our teachers and teachng assistants for this purpose we still would have had to hire dozens of teaching assistants to assist with the alternate classroom cohort while the classroom teacherteachers alternated between both cohorts of students. The cost of this plan was simply prohibitive.
     
    We also considered alternating half days, which would have alowed all students to be in school every half day. Not only was this model somewhat unpopular in our family survey, posing difficulty for work schedules, but it would have necessitated doubling the number of daily transportation runs, dramatically increasing transportation costs. In addition, the time necessary to complete the thorough cleaning protocol required between morning and afternoon cohorts would have substantially lengthened the overall school day.
     
    So, to restate a short answer to the question: the 5% threshold represents general state authorization to return to in-person schooling. From there, schools must then determine their best course of action based upon their ability to meet all of the requirements in the guidance documents.
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  • What is lunch going to be like for my child?

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    Elementary

    At the elementary level, students will be eating in their classrooms, not the cafeteria.  At Waverly, lunch service will begin on November 1.  At Anne Hutch and Greenvale, lunch service will begin on September 10.  Students will be able to order packaged-to-go lunches each morning if so desired.  These lunches will either be delivered to classrooms or each classroom will be called to the cafeteria in a staggered manner.

    Secondary

    At the secondary level, students will be eating in the cafeteria and/or other large group spaces.  Students will either be seated at individual desks or spaced accordingly at cafeteria tables to ensure 6 foot social distancing.

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  • Will masks be required during lunch?

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    In general, we are asking students to wear masks whenever possible.  When students are eating, they do not have to wear their mask.  Lunch is also a time when students can take a "mask break" as long as they are social distancing at 6 feet.

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  • Will there be supervision during lunch to ensure students are following all rules and guidelines?

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    Yes, there will be supervision at all grade levels during the lunch periods.  Lunch supervisors will be asked to work with students on a daily basis to ensure that they are acting appropriately and following all safety protocols and guidelines.

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  • Will there be recess? What will recess look like?

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    At the elementary schools, there will be recess for all students.  This may look slightly different at each of the elementary schools based on space availability and the ability to clean surfaces/equipment.  Some possibilities include students being assigned areas of the fields to play within, a rotation through playground equipment, organized games that meet social distancing requirements, etc.  

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