To our Families of Fort Plain Junior-Senior High School:
First, let me thank you for your support and understanding as we responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and its unexpected challenges in March. I am very proud of the way our Fort Plain students, parents, employees, and community handled the demands we were faced with to protect everyone as we continued to educate and feed our students during the most unusual of circumstances.
Now we are looking forward to reopening our schools, but I am sure you have concerns and questions about our September plans. While we are in the business of educating, our first priority is the safety of our students and our employees. Be assured, we have been working diligently over the last months, studying the guidance from national, state, and local officials, as well as seeking input from parents and stakeholders to develop our reopening plan.
This guide highlights some important aspects of our reopening. With this in mind, we know, this plan may change. This is a complicated issue, but we have done our best to use a common sense approach to the development of our plan. Keeping our students and staff as safe as possible is our top priority.
The first day of in-person learning for 7th, 8th and 9th grade will be Monday, Sept. 14. The first day of in-person learning for 10th, 11th and 12th grade will be Tuesday, Sept. 15.
The Junior Senior High School has developed a Blended Learning Model in which, on defined days, some students learn remotely and others learn at school. In-person instruction will be at Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School. On days students are not in school they will remain home for remote instruction. Students will rotate on a four-day schedule:
- Day 1 – In-person instruction (A Day Classes)
- Day 2 – At-home virtual instruction (A Day Classes)
- Day 3 – In-person instruction (B Day Classes)
- Day 4 – At-home virtual instruction (B Day Classes)
- Day 5 – Repeat Cycle
- Day 1 – At-home virtual instruction (A Day Classes)
- Day 2 – In-person instruction (A Day Classes)
- Day 3 – At-home virtual instruction (B Day Classes)
- Day 4 – In-person instruction (B Day Classes)
- Day 5 – Repeat Cycle
For consistency, students will follow the same schedule during the same times whether instruction is in person or remote. The average class size for in-person instruction is 15 students. All classrooms are physically set up to promote social distancing. Desks will be facing forward and six feet apart, thus eliminating the need to always wear face coverings.
Remote Instruction & Technology
We will use Google Classroom as our online learning platform. When at home, students may engage in a variety of learning including: live virtual instruction, pre-recorded instruction, home assignments, independent work, activities, and assessments. Some work may take the whole period, while others may be a shorter task. Regardless of the type of instruction, students will have mandatory live check-ins for attendance and must log into their Google classrooms to complete whatever tasks are assigned. During remote instruction days, your child’s teacher will be available during that period to assist their students.
Each student will receive a student email account and will be issued a Chromebook. If connectivity is a problem, please reach out to us so we can help problem solve. Chromebooks will be distributed on Thursday, Sept. 10. One parent must accompany their child when picking up devices. Social distancing and mask protocols will be in effect. Families with students in multiple grades can choose one time to pick up all items.
- 7th Grade: will receive Chromebooks at 7th grade orientation
- 8th Grade: 9-10 a.m.
- 9th Grade: 10-11 a.m.
- 10th Grade: 11 a.m.-noon
- 11th Grade: Noon-1 p.m.
- 12th Grade: 1-2 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon will be the alternate pick up date.
Our attendance policy will be in effect during the 2020-21 school year. Students are expected to attend school daily, whether in-person or remote, and teachers will take attendance. Mrs. Hecht will contact you when your child is absent from class. We know the value of good attendance, but understand during this time attendance may be compromised. Please reach out to Mrs. Hecht or your child’s counselor for attendance issues. Excessive absences will affect learning and grades.
Face Masks and Social Distancing
Masks will be required when social distancing is not possible. Masks will be required on school buses, in hallways and public spaces and in classrooms when social distancing is not possible. Teachers will guide students as to the practice in each class. If students do not have a mask, the school will provide one.
To help with social distancing, and transitions between classes, we have changed walk patterns throughout the buildings, marking stairwells and hallways as one way. Signage will assist students as they become familiar with the new walkways. To further limit hallway congestion, we have staggered dismissal times between classes.
Student Arrival and Exit
Arrival times have been staggered to ensure social distancing. Students will not be allowed in the building until 7:40, which is the time the first bus is scheduled to arrive. Bus students will enter the building using the entrance by the gym.
For student drop-off the Main Street entrance will be used. Traffic will be marked as one-way during drop-off and pick-up times. Parents can begin to drop off students at 7:45. Non-bus students will enter using the front door.
Health screenings will be conducted each morning before coming to school for all members of the school community. Students riding the bus will be screened prior to boarding. All other students will be screened upon entry to the building. Anyone with a temperature of 100.00 or more will not be allowed to attend.
Upon arrival to school, students will report to their first period classrooms. They grab breakfast in the cafeteria to take with them. Face coverings may be removed once a person arrives in his/her classroom.
Dismissal will be staggered, with bus students being dismissed first at 2:38. An announcement will release all other students. Once the busses have cleared student pick-up may begin at approximately 2:45. Remote day meals will be provided at the end of the day. Bagged breakfast and lunches will be available for students to “grab and go” before exiting the building.
There will not be a late bus at this time. Students are expected to exit the building to allow for our custodial staff to do a deep end of the day cleaning.
Extracurricular activities have been canceled for the start of the school year. This includes field trips and assemblies. We will explore bringing back activities that can be conducted remotely, or in a safe environment. I know our student athletes are anxious to begin their sport seasons, but we must following state protocols regarding athletics.
This letter highlights our reopening plan. I encourage you to frequently visit the school’s webpage and follow our social media for up-to-date and accurate information. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at (518) 993-4000 ext. 2124 or email at email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued support and positivity as we strive to do what is best for ALL of our students and employees during these challenging times.
Deborah Larrabee, Ed.D.