Online parent forums provide reopening info

The Herkimer Central School District held online parent forums Aug. 17-19 to provide more information about the return to in-person learning, and to take questions from parents. At each event, Board of Education President Brian Crandall and Superintendent Robert J. Miller gave an overview of the district’s reopening planning process, and the state regulations governing reopening.

Read the Herkimer CSD Reopening Plan

Each forum also included grade level-specific information. On Aug. 17, Ms. Tomaso spoke about the high school; on Aug. 18, Mr. Abbe discussed the middle school; and on Aug. 19, Mrs. Vogt spoke about elementary.

Parents can expect to receive information from their child’s school in the days prior to the start of school with specific information about school day schedules, classroom assignments and more.

In addition to the general information presented in each forum, each building principal shared details specific to that grade level:

Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School

Due to technical difficulties, the audio on the HHS Parent Forum video is very hard to hear. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The first two parent forums focused on Grades 9-12, and Grades 6-8. Parents submitted questions in advance, and during the online forum. The information here summarizes the topics that were discussed during these events.

Most Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School students will alternate between in-person and remote learning days. Grade 6 students will come in for in-person instruction five days a week. For Grades 7-12, each cohort will come for in-person instruction at least two days a week: Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday. Specialized instruction may also take place in-person on Wednesday for some CTE and IEP students.

Students will go straight to their classroom in the morning, and stay in one classroom for the duration of their time at school. Since lockers will not be in use, students will be able to bring their belongings into the classroom.

The five-hour school day will include core classes that focus on grade-level and graduation requirements. On weekdays when students are not in the school building, students should plan on spending time on schoolwork. Specific expectations for checking in and turning in work during remote learning days will be communicated by individual teachers.

The district will continue to provide Chromebooks to all students. Students may continue to use Chromebooks that they brought home for the summer. Any student who needs computer equipment to start the school year should contact the school.

It is hoped that some extracurricular activities, such as Student Council and National Honor Society, can be conducted virtually. The athletics season start has been delayed to Sept. 21.

Herkimer Elementary

K-5 students will attend school five days a week. Prekindergarten will be conducted remotely, with a combination of in-person teacher visits, online instruction, and activities for students to do at home on their own.

For K-5, the five-hour school day will begin between 7:30-8 a.m. and end around 1 p.m., with start and end times staggered depending on grade level. This is due to the need for multiple bus runs to transport students while maintaining social distance on the bus.

Parents will be asked to drop students off and pick them up outside the school building. Each grade level will have a specific time for pickup in the afternoon, with students brought out to the bus loop.

Students will go straight to their classroom in the morning, and stay in their classroom for instruction. In the classroom, they will eat breakfast and snack, and work on core subjects with their classroom teacher. Music, art instruction, and social-emotional lessons will be streamed into the classroom once a week. Recess and center time will also be part of the school day. Some learning will continue while students are at home, including physical education.

Students in K-2 will be provided with a district iPad. Grades 3-5 students will receive a district Chromebook. Students will be expected to log into their assigned Google Classroom to participate in small group instruction during the day.

More Information

We know that you may still have questions about what the start of school will be like for your child.

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