Updated Reopening Plan 8.14

Updated Reopening Plan 8.14
Posted on 08/14/2020
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August 14, 2020 

Dear Health Sciences Charter School Community,

I hope this communication finds you all safe and well.  With that said the safety and well-being of our students continues to be our top priority as we build the most effective way to bring your students back to school. We are grateful for the support of our school community in these challenging and ever-changing times. Over the course of the last several weeks, our school has carefully reviewed guidance from the New York State Department of Health and New York State Education Department to develop a reopening plan that best suits the educational needs and safety of our students, staff and community. In order to provide our students with the safest learning environment and the most regular and consistent access to teachers, we will utilize a multi-faceted plan for reopening.

Phase 1 of the plan will have ALL students beginning the school year in a remote learning instructional model (i.e. students will be learning from home and not attending school in person). The Remote Learning option was determined to best ensure the safety and welfare of our students, staff and community. Students will be learning remotely, at home, with a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous learning (remote only) following a daily class schedule.  Please note that all students will be provided a Chromebook and the school will take additional steps to help ensure internet connectivity for those in need. Further information regarding the distribution of Chromebooks to all students who do not currently have them will be forthcoming. Students will begin this instructional model on the first day of school, September 8, 2020.

Remote learning will be in place until such time we can enter phase 2 of our plan (described in detail below), which is a hybrid mode where students will attend in person on designated A and B days. With this in mind, we will be continually assessing our capacity to safely bring some or all students to campus for instruction and/or targeted services throughout this time frame. Our goal as a school is to eventually return all students to our campus this year in some capacity. 

The school will continue to monitor and review a number of factors including, but not limited to, the following: 

● Public health conditions and local infection rate data 

● Availability of Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gloves etc)

● Availability of timely testing and contact tracing 

● Additional New York State Guidance

A review of the above factors will be used to determine when the school will be able to proceed to Phase 2 for some or all of our students. 

Phase 2 will involve a hybrid model of instruction (a combination of remote and in-person learning), as we continue to gradually phase students back into school. The school will be in continual contact with our school community throughout this process. Parents have the option to choose a fully remote model of instruction for their children and will be afforded that same option in Phase 2 of this plan barring any further NYS guidance to the contrary. 

In order to communicate the details of the reopening plan, a series of public meetings will be available Thursday, August 20 for all school community members with three virtual meeting time options: 10 am, 2pm and 5pm. During these meetings, our safety and delivery plan will be discussed followed by a Question and Answer period to address questions submitted by the attendees. During the registration process parents will be asked to complete a short survey addressing their needs for a return in this model which will include the ability to submit questions and preferences for our return.  Please click here to register: Google Form

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this challenging time.  I look forward to defining our plan and addressing your concerns in person next Thursday.  


Jaime Venning

Head of School