BATAVIA – All Batavia high school and middle school students will begin the year remotely, while elementary students still have the option to follow the district's hybrid plan and alternate in-person attendance days.
According to a letter emailed to families, the district stated that the decision to begin remote for the older students was because of the "complexity" of creating on-site and remote schedules, as well as teacher feedback indicating that adjustments still need to be made.
"We acknowledge and share the desire of the majority of parents who want their students to return to school on-site. The administration and the teacher’s union have worked together to develop these solutions, and we are confident that this is the best plan that we can offer given our current conditions," the letter stated.
The first day of school remains Aug. 19. The revisions and new details can be found on a new website for the Restore BPS101 plan.
The district's hybrid Crimson/Gold schedule will remain for elementary students "for the foreseeable future."
The letter stated that the goal is to bring high school and middle school students into small groups for blended on-site learning opportunities for certain electives. Some students, based on special needs, will begin in-person instruction in small groups.
Pre-kindergarten and elementary students who selected the remote learning plan have been assigned to the Batavia Virtual Academy and placed in a class taught by a district teacher who will teach the virtual class exclusively.
"Together, as a community, we have developed a plan that has adapted to our local conditions and incorporates our wishes to bring back students safely. We look forward to Friday, Aug. 14, when staff will report to work and finalize plans to educate your students in the safest, best way that we can," the letter concluded.
Superintendent Lisa Hichens issued the following statement regarding the changes:
"We are glad that we have community support and a willing staff so we can open our doors for students at every school on Aug. 19. The number of students who will be on site will be small, but it is a step in the right direction. Over time we will have more students return or we can scale back as conditions merit. Safety for students and staff remains our top priority. We will continue to be flexible and adapt to this ever-changing situation, and our plan leaves room for that needed flexibility."