After this week Waterville Central School District will say goodbye to Remote Wednesdays.
Since September, most students, regardless of whether taking classes 100 percent remotely or having some in-school time, had classes virtually only on Wednesdays. Even the fifth and sixth graders who returned to full-time learning in the buildings went four days, joining everyone else in remote learning on Wednesdays.
Only special education students whose education plan allowed attended classes in the buildings on Wednesdays.
But at last week’s WCS Board of Education meeting, Dr. Jennifer Spring said in-person instruction returns on Wednesdays for everybody starting March 10. Doing so adds 15 days of in-person instruction.
Prior to the expanded days bus drivers will be asked for their availability. The district will spend an additional $24,000 for the 15 added days.
Students other than fifth, sixth and twelfth graders will attend during their assigned morning or afternoon times. Seniors who chose joined the two elementary grades this week in attending full days to eliminate online learning.
During the meeting Spring and Junior-Senior High Principal Nick Rauch said several times there is capacity for more remote-only students to follow the half-day of in-person instruction schedule. “I invite remote families to make the hard decisions and return to in-person,’’ Spring said.
Rauch said 33 of the almost 70 students in the Senior class planned to follow the full-day in-person schedule. “I remind parents the in-person option is available,’’ he said, for all students. “There is room in the classrooms at this point.’’
He said not only is it shown students learn better via in-person instruction, but their social and emotional health benefits by attending in person. “We are adding piece by piece as we advance to the end of the year,’’ Rauch said.
As of the day of the meeting one student and one staff member were in quarantine.
The almost two-hour meeting took place remotely and was shown live on YouTube. Board members decided to resume in-person meetings, which will still be shown through livestreaming and for now prohibit the public from attending.
During the meeting, which was watched by up to 48 people, Memorial Park School Principal Maureen Gray discussed how students and teachers recently celebrated the 100th day of school. “We are 100 days smarter, 100 days closer to normalcy,’’ she said.
Third graders made care packages for the sixth graders whose classes relocated to the High School when they started back full time. Videos of students…