Roslyn area districts announce prospective plans for reopening

Rose Weldon
The Roslyn School District has announced a plan for reopening in the fall.(Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Numerous school districts in the Roslyn area announced that they have developed models for reopening their schools in the fall which address the effects and potential spread of the coronavirus.

The districts now await the decision of Gov. Andrew Cuomo on whether schools will follow an in-person model, a remote model or a hybrid of the two, meaning that students will spend half of their time in the school building and the other half remotely.

In all instances, students will be asked to wear a face mask and have parents check their temperature each day, with students who test over 100 degrees Fahrenheit asked to stay home.


“We are eager to elaborate on these models with you, in particular the hybrid model, so that you can be fully prepared and can plan accordingly,” Roslyn School Superintendent Allison Brown wrote in a letter to parents.

In the proposed hybrid learning model for the Harbor Hills School, East Hills School and the Heights School, all students in pre-kindergarten through grade 5 would be allowed to return to school and proceed with a “regularly scheduled” school day, according to the district.

“In the hybrid model, we do not anticipate needing to split the [elementary schools] in half, like the secondary schools, since we have sufficient student capacity in our buildings because of the way they have been reconfigured,” the district said in a statement.

In the proposed hybrid learning model for secondary schools, Roslyn Middle School (grades 6-8) and Roslyn High School (grades 9-12) will split each grade’s student roster in half by schedule of individual courses. This will create two groups, referred to as Group 1 and Group 2. Any siblings attending the same school will be in the same group.

When on campus for in-person instruction, students will follow a period-by-period schedule for the entire day. While attending remotely, students will work on assignments and view teacher-posted lessons and have Zoom access to a scheduled teacher for questions and clarifications throughout the day.

Group 1 will attend school in the building on days 1, 3 or 5, as denoted on the district calendar, with face-to-face instruction. This group’s remote learning will take place on days 2, 4, and 6.

Group 2 will have the reverse, attending classes in-person on days 2, 4 and 6 and learning remotely on days 1, 3 and 5.

In the proposed elementary remote learning model, Harbor Hills School, East Hills School and the Heights School will be divided into a morning period, a lunch period and an afternoon period that students will access via Zoom.

In the proposed secondary remote learning model, students of Roslyn Middle School and Roslyn High School will follow a full-day schedule over Zoom, with cameras allowed to be off during lunch periods.


Over 150 faculty, students, staff, parents and members of the Board of Education asssisted in creating the district’s hybrid and remote models, according to district Superintendent Peter Giarrizzo.

“Churchill reminded an anxious nation during World War II that ‘kites rise highest against the wind- not with it,'” Giarrizzo wrote in a statement accompanying the plan. “It is absolutely true and it is now time to ready our kites for flight. Your principals and I will be in more regular communication with you over the next several weeks. In the meantime, please continue to be healthy, well, and safe.”

In the district’s hybrid model, students in every school will be divided into A and B groups and alternate in-person and online days, which will last the whole week for elementary school and middle school students. For high school students, one day of every week will be dedicated to full online instruction for all.

The remote model calls for online instruction for all students, though the district did not specify the software or systems that would be used.


Superintendent Elaine Kanas sent two surveys to parents last week, detailing three possible plans for reopening.

In all three, grades K-7 would be brought back for in-person classes.

One plan featured grades 8-12 having three days of classes online, one day of classes in person and one day of working with guidance counselors and other professionals online. Another featured the upper grades being split into cohorts and alternating days in class, with homework being given for them to do on days out of school.

The third plan was to bring all students back to class five days per week, but with some classes being cut from the program so as to reorganize staff and allow for additional space in the school for classes.

After last Wednesday, it was evident that the plan being submitted most closely aligns with the third proposed plan.

Although the administration believes in-person classes are the most effective for the coming year, there will be an option for families to have a child stick with purely online classes if the child, or someone he or she lives with, may be vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. The district is prepared to switch to partially or fully remote classes at any time, if they must.


A district-run task force, made up of over 50 parents, teachers, administrators and Board of Education trustees, worked to create the models, according to a statement issued with the plans.

“As we have said many times, the health and safety of all members of the Herricks school community is our highest priority,” the statement read. “Our plan includes numerous safety protocols that have been put into place. Because of the ongoing pandemic, we will not be able to operate as we normally do, and many activities we have traditionally enjoyed will have to change.”

For the hybrid model, the district says it “anticipates” that students in Kindergarten through fifth grade, which encompass the entirety of Center Street Elementary School, Denton Avenue Elementary School and Searingtown Elementary School will return to in-school classes every day in September.

Students at Herricks Middle School and Herricks High School will attend school every other day and take part in so-called “eLearning” on the other day, which the district says is “necessary to ensure social distancing.” Grades will be split into four groups – Blue A, Blue B, Silver A and Silver B – on an alphabetical basis, which will allow students to be in the same cohort.

In the remote model, the elementary schools’ daily schedules will remain the same, with daily attendance taken through Google Meet or Infinite Campus. Instruction would be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous opportunities with classroom teachers, including special area classes.

For the middle school and high school students, the remote model will involve a truncated bell schedule, with periods alternating between live instruction and recorded lessons.

The districts will announce their official plans once the state decides if schools will follow a particular model.

Elliot Weld contributed reporting. 

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