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JPS Reopening Plan Includes Distance Learning, Partial In-Person Instruction

The Deke Kathman Administration Building located on Martin Road in Jamestown. P-J photo by Cameron Hurst

The Jamestown Public Schools District on Friday released its proposed reopening plan, which includes options for distance learning or partial in-person instruction.

Neither plan outlined includes the traditional in-person instruction five days a week.

The plan — available at jpsny.org/reopening — details two “learning models” that could be selected based on state guidance and parent feedback.

The first, a hybrid learning model, includes both in-person and distance learning for students. Specifically, students would attend school in person at least two days a week or part of the day, with assignments to be completed at home on other days.

Each school would determine the daily schedule and student attendance groups.

The remote learning model would consist of students receiving full-time instruction through distance learning, with classes held online for several hours each day. Instruction may be provided through live or recorded lessons.

JPS will submit its plan Friday to the New York State Education Department, per the required deadline for school districts. The submitted plan addresses health and safety, facilities, child nutrition, transportation, social and emotional well-being, school operations, teaching, learning and technology, specialized instruction and communications. A “reader-friendly” version of the plan, along with a video summary and FAQs are also posted on the JPS website.

“As you may know, since March, the JPS community has stood together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by observing social distancing and spending a lot of time at home,” said JPS Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker. “We are just over a month away from the beginning of the new school year. I have often heard in my travels around town that you have many questions and concerns about how we will reopen our buildings safely in light of COVID-19. As I’m sure you can imagine, the traditional school year and past routines have changed. However, our commitment to keeping our students and staff safe has not. That remains our top priority, followed closely by our commitment to devise a plan that also provides equitable academic opportunities for all.”

The reopening plan is based on the intensive work of the JPS Reopening Committee composed of more than more than 50 staff, teachers, district partners, and union representatives along with feedback from students, staff and parents. The committee examined many possible scenarios for starting the new school year safely – operationally and academically – under the New York State and CDC COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations.

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