2020-2021 School Year Begins With Safety Measures in Place
Althea Olsen, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
Sept. 13, 2020
Although 2020 has been far from the social norm, the Rockland School district has worked diligently to deliver a safe plan for students to begin the school year.
Even though the first day of school will be through the screen, Dr. Harrison believes remote learning will allow RHS students to “develop unique and advanced skills” due to these ongoing challenges they are facing.
As far as the challenges of this new learning experience, Dr. Harrison advises, “We need you (students) to ask questions.” He added,”Students should “lean on and rely on their teachers” for help. Despite the different scheduling and academic approach, Harrison says that staff members “are not just ready, but excited.”
In order to limit the number of students inside the building, RHS has divided students into cohorts (groups of students) A or B. Emails were sent to students with their assigned cohort. If a student is uncertain of their cohort, they can check online at Aspen X2, or call the RHS guidance office.
Cohort A was the first to enter the building for orientation on Thursday, September 10 from 8-11:20 am, and cohort B was second on Friday, September 11 from 8-11:20 am. During orientation, students met their teachers for the school year, and were given a glimpse of the safety precautions put in place for when in school learning occurs.
While at orientation, students were excited to be in the building, despite the new changes. When asked about scheduling, some agreed they understood the new arrangements, while some were confused.
When it comes to safety, Dr. Harrison outlined four important safety rules everyone in the building should follow. In order of importance, his list is the following:
- Wear a mask that covers both the nose and the mouth.
- Sanitize always. Dr. Harrison expressed the RHS hand sanitizer as the “best around”.
- If one is not feeling well, do not attend school. They will be given work to do remotely.
- Remain socially distant (6 feet). Dr. Harrison knows this is the hardest one to follow, but he promises students will be able to feel as if they are socializing even with the precautions put in place.
From a student’s perspective, the new way of learning is definitely a challenging change at times. Not being able to walk with friends in the hallway or socialize at the end of class is the biggest challenge for most.
Every student from RHS, regardless of their cohort, will begin remote learning together on Monday, September 14 and will continue until Wednesday, September 23. During this two week period, they will follow the schedule below. This schedule ONLY applies for the two weeks of combined cohort remote learning.
|8:15-8:50 AM||A Block|
|9:00-9:35 AM||B Block|
|9:45-10:20 AM||C Block|
|10:30-11:05 AM||D Block|
|11:15-11:50 AM||E Block|
|12:50-1:25 PM||F Block|
|1:35-2:35 PM||Office Hours|
During office hours, students can schedule to seek extra help for their classes, or spend extra time with teachers. Dr. Harrison said that the new way of learning “is confusing,” but explains we should “rely on our teachers and make sure to ask questions.” Guidance will also be available to meet with students on a virtual basis. Academic and emotional support will be available for students no matter the circumstances. After school academic support will continue to be provided from 2:45 to 4:15 pm. It is still being decided if it will be remote or in person support.
Beginning on September 28, the hybrid model will begin. Cohort A will begin in person learning, and cohort B will learn remote. Starting on the week of October 5, cohort B will begin in person learning, and cohort A will be remote. The two cohorts will switch every week from in person and remote learning.
During the week of September 28, cohort A will follow the regular RHS scheduling for IN PERSON learning.
During the week of September 28, cohort B will have the following schedule for REMOTE learning:
|Periods||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6|
|10:30-11:25||(no class)||History||History||World language||(no class)||World language|
|12:35-1:30||World language||World language||Science||Science||Science||(no class)|
|1:40-2:35||Science||Student homework||Student homework||Student homework||Student homework||Student homework|
On October 5, the two cohorts will switch learning methods and follow the scheduling that correlates with their way of learning for that week.