Mr. Carter, Principal Grades PreK-12
To Barker CSD Families & Students:
Hello Barker families. First and foremost, thank you all for your flexibility and understanding as we work to reopen the building for the 2020-2021 school year. This will be a unique experience for students, parents and teachers alike. The purpose of this letter is to provide an overview of what our instructional program will look like this coming year. Much of this information was covered in the three public forums we held. Please understand this is a lengthy letter and to take the time to review all of the information.
Our student body has been divided into three different cohorts. This was based on the family responses to the survey we put out determining which families would attend our hybrid model and which would be fully remote. All students from the same household were placed into the same cohort. Cohort 1 physically attends Monday and Tuesday and will be remote Wednesday through Friday. Cohort 2 is remote Monday through Wednesday and physically in school on Thursday and Friday. Cohort 3 is fully remote all five days.
At the start of every week, classroom teachers will post their weekly plans to their Google Classroom sites by 8:00 am. This will include learning objectives, instructional resources, and other items needed. The hybrid model of instruction is a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Synchronous instruction is direct teacher instruction, such as being in a classroom or being instructed over web video. Asynchronous is more studentcentered, with students completing work independently. The weekly plans will let students and families know how to best plan the upcoming week. For example, a student in Cohort 1 (see above) will physically be with teachers for two days, and then may have to do a mixture of web meetings and/or independent work the remaining days.
Wednesdays will function as an office hour day for all students and teachers. Teachers will post their times on the Google Classroom that they will be available via web video to meet with students and families regarding their work, assignments owed, to get caught up on skills, etc. For those families for whom access on the fully remote days may be an issue, teachers will post either videos of their lessons or other asynchronous materials to fit those students’ independent schedules. The Google Classroom calendar also applies to fully remote students in Cohort 3; they will have to join web videos during certain portions of the week.
Students at the 7-12th grade level will be graded as per the syllabus and assignment rubrics from each course. There is no longer a *70% safety net. Students in grades PreK-6 will be assessed via our standards-based instructional model. Our revamped report cards are available to be viewed under the “Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment” portion of our website.
Band and choir will likely be taking place in the auditorium to allow a greater amount of social distancing and safety. Students on full remote will still be able to receive lessons. More information will be coming out soon.
Pre-kindergarten is transitioning to a full day program from a half day. Students will follow the same cohort models as described above. They will be placed into the same cohort as their older siblings. We hope that this model will provide easier family scheduling. Also, having PreK students in class for the full academic day will allow them to transition easier to kindergarten next year.
The district is transitioning to a six day rotation, Days A through F. Previously, the elementary was on a weekly schedule; the high school was on a four day rotation. By having all grade levels move to a six day rotation, this will allow us to better share people and resources across buildings. We will cycle through two days per week. Example: Monday/Tuesday = A/B day. Thursday/Friday = A/B day. The following week will be C/D, and the following week will be E/F. The only major change this brings to elementary is which special they go to each day.
At arrival in the morning, students will enter doors on the Haight Rd. side of campus designated by their grade level. A map of entryways via grade is included with this mailing. Students will either hand in their temperature check form or have their temperature taken at their designated door. Students who have a form may still be subject to a temperature check. Multiple copies of the temperature form for September are also included in this mailing. Students who test above 100 degrees will be taken to the district’s isolation room and be further assessed by the nurse. These students may need to be picked up. Parents will pick up elementary students in the 1911 lot. High school drivers will enter at the main gym, as usual. See the enclosed map for details.
Parents and other visitors will be highly restricted when it comes to entry to the building. If dropping off or picking students up in the middle of the school day, please proceed to the main entrance of each respective school. Your child will be brought to the door. Also, please do not come to the school unannounced expecting to gain entry. We cannot guarantee this. Visitors will be subject to a health questionnaire and may be required to have their temperatures checked.
Notes for busing changes: please understand districts are under immense restrictions when it comes to the amount of students we can put on the bus. If you plan on having your child needing a temporary change to their busing, you must send in a written note or call the main office by at least noon the day in advance. The elementary office phone number is 795-3237. The high school main office is 795-3201. We apologize for this inconvenience but we need time to work with the busing company to ensure there is enough room to meet the social distancing requirements. Also, students from the same households will be required to sit on the bus together. This will help us ensure we are meeting social distancing guidelines on buses. All students will be required to wear masks while on the bus.
Students will also undergo training in the first few days of school to ensure they understand proper social distancing, mask wearing, sanitation, etc. This will also include a review of our Code of Conduct and other important student items at the high school level. Cafeterias will also, unfortunately, be reconstructed to have students sitting in singular desks.
11th and 12th grade students who are enrolled in BOCES Career and Technical Education programming will still be able to attend their half-day program. They will be going five days a week. BOCES does not have a fully remote option, unfortunately. Students will be transported via school busing, as usual. Seniors will catch the bus at approximately 7:45 am at the main lobby in the high school, outside the main office. Juniors will board the bus at approximately 11:35 in the Haight Road loop near the cafeteria. Juniors will be dropped off at their homes, not the school, on their dismissal bus run from BOCES. If a student is not in attendance to be here for the bus (due to cohort placement) they must get themselves to the school and be ready to board the bus at the approximate times. Students cannot drive to BOCES without prior approval, as per the usual process. On Wednesday, when there are no students on campus, the transportation department will be providing door to door busing both ways for all BOCES students. If you are a fully remote Barker student, you may still physically attend BOCES.
Athletics and extracurricular activities are postponed until at least September 21st. Athletics was a directive from the state-wide athletic association. We will update families and students as soon as something changes.
All students and faculty are required to wear a face mask throughout the day. The masks should cover mouths and noses. Mask breaks will be worked into the day when it is safe to do so. Students will also remove their mask when they are eating lunch. Please understand that all students will have masks on for the vast majority of the day, due to the guidelines.
Also, if a household wishes to move from the hybrid model of instruction to the fully remote option, this is a fairly easy move. This process was designed with the understanding that some students or faculty members may need to quarantine at some point. However, if students want to move from the fully remote cohort to one of the hybrid cohorts, this process is not as fluid. We will need to examine roster sizes and busing restrictions before we can make a determination on a case-by-case basis.
Please understand that providing instruction to three different cohorts of students, one of which is fully remote, is going to be a major learning curve for our classroom instructors. Teachers have been attending numerous professional development opportunities this summer to learn how to use new software, technologies, and getting their curriculum ready. This will take some time for everyone to get used to; the partnership between family and school has never been more important than it is right now. Thank you all for your flexibility as we start the instructional process.
If you made it to the end of this letter, thank you. You deserve something positive. On Wednesday, September 2nd, we will be doing a “Welcome Back Wave” in the Haight Road bus loop from 2:30 – 3:00 pm. Families can drive through the bus loop in their vehicles. Our faculty and staff will be lined along the sidewalk welcoming you all back. It will be a good opportunity to see everyone before we officially start. This is available to all students, PreK-12. We ask families to stay in their car during this event.
We are looking forward to getting our instructional program rolling again here in Barker. Thank you for your time and flexibility.
Principal, Grades PreK-12
1628 Quaker Road
Barker, NY 14012