Superintendent Announces In-Person Learning Will Resume In Rome, New York
For the first time since the beginning of the Pandemic students in the Rome City School District will be resuming in-person instruction. The announcement came in the form of a letter from Superintendent Peter Blake.
The letter addressed to the school community was released on the school's website Sunday. In the letter Superintendent Blake says,
The past year has not been easy on anyone and we have all awaited the day when our students can be welcomed back for full-time instruction. We continue to keep safety, health, and welfare at the forefront of our decision making and as we prepare to bring students back full-time and make this transition, I can assure you that our staff will be prepared to do so in a safe way while maintaining all required recommendations.
Blake cited the new guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the reopening plan moving forward in the district. Blake believes these new guidelines are what will allow in-person classes to resume. A few of those guidelines include the revised physical distancing rule changing from 6 feet to 3 feet, removal of recommendation for physical barriers and added guidance on what to do if clusters occur, to name a few.
The big factor had to have been the distancing requirement, based on the large student populations in Rome schools. While the Rome School district is ultimately counting on the state guidelines to catch up with the most recent guidelines put forth by the CDC, Blake intends to bring students back to full in-school instruction on Monday, April 12th, 2021.
Blake wrote in his letter, parents who do not feel comfortable with having their student back in-person will be allowed to keep them learning remotely at home "without penalty to attendance or academic progress." Blake says the faculty and staff will take the next 3 weeks to fully prepare for the return of students, with safety as the top priority. Those CDC guidelines will serve as the basis for their preparations.
Blake concluded his letter by thoughtfully thanking the Rome school community for their patience, understanding and flexibility during this obviously difficult time.