By Elise Fisch
The Florida Union Free School District Board of Education held their regularly scheduled meeting on Thurs., Aug. 20 in the S.S. Seward Institute cafeteria. This was to be the penultimate meeting held before the schools officially reopen.
A schedule of reopening has been published on the District’s website (www.floridaufsd.org) for parents and students to view and use to help them understand how the hybrid learning plan will be rolled out.
Starting on Tues., Sept. 8, students with last names starting with A-L will begin the “phase-in” period at S.S. Seward Institute and Golden Hill Elementary.
Siblings attending schools in the District will attend in-person lessons on the same days as each other in order to cut down on the number of trips buses and parents need to make throughout the week. Siblings with different last names from one another will follow the schedule according to the first letter of the last name of the eldest child in the school system.
The phase-in will be from Sept. 8 through 11, over the course of which the schools will put into practice their new Code of Conduct and begin the school year adhering to social distancing and other COVID-19 related recommended and mandated precautions.
This period of time is designed to assess the proficiency of the District’s new plan, and to hopefully pinpoint and amend any kinks or hiccups in the efficiency and practicality of back-to-school proceedings.
Specific information regarding the back-to-school process for S.S. Seward Institute and Golden Hill Elementary was published on the District’s website on Mon., Aug. 24.
The first day of in-person instruction for students who have elected to participate will be on Mon., Sept. 14, following the four-day phase-in period. Students are expected to respect social distancing at all times, as every individual’s safety relies on the cooperation and consideration of everyone around them.
All students, faculty, and personnel entering the school building will have their temperatures taken on their way in and will be sent home if their temperature exceeds the limit of what is considered safe. The school will be providing PPE (personal protective equipment) to students who do not have PPE of their own.
Buses will be operating at a depleted capacity, allowing only one child per seat. This was decided to be the safest way to keep kids distanced while still leaving enough room for the number of students they may need to transport from a single area.
Buses will be sanitized in between runs, with a deep cleaning scheduled once after the morning drop-offs at school, and once again after students have been returned home. The Board of Education is pushing for buses to receive deep cleanings four times a day, rather than only twice a day.
Howard Cohen, School Business Assistant, emphasized the importance of as many parents as are able to drive their children into school, as it will make the restricted bus scheduling much less challenging.
The next meeting of the School Board will be held on Thurs., Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of the S.S. Seward Institute, located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida, NY. This will be the last school board meeting held before the schools reopen.