During the last week in March students at Amity High School will start attending school five days a week instead of the current two days, School Supt. Dr Jennifer Byars informed parents in a letter dated March 1. Even so, she warned that things can change at any time, given public health indicators.
Serving lunch in a socially distanced manner has been a challenge for administrators since they started discussing the different instructional models last summer, and as a result the school days at the high school will still end at 12:47 pm. There will be no lunch served during the school day, but a free grab-and-go meal is available to all students, she wrote.
At the smaller middle schools, the district will move to a full day of instruction four days per week, (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). By increasing lunch waves, the schools will be able to offer a lunch period during the school day. School will begin at 7:34 am and the day will end at 2:18 pm. On Wednesdays, students will still attend school in-person, but will be dismissed at 12:12 pm to permit teachers time to plan for and work with fully remote learners.
As of March 5, about 20% of middle school students were learning voluntarily from home, and about 28% of high school students. This will still be a choice parents can make going forward, Dr. Byars wrote in an email. Families can either follow the school instructional model or be voluntarily remote.
The Friday Metrix tab on the Amity district website on March 4 showed three positive cases at the Orange Middle School, with 32 in quarantine; and six positive cases at the high school, with 68 people in quarantine.
As for after-school activities, the schools will continue to have both virtual and in-person after-school activities, Dr. Byars wrote. Students who are following the school instructional model can participate in all activities. Students who are fully remote may participate in virtual activities. “For in-person activities, we still expect all students to go home at dismissal time and return to school changed and prepared for the start of their in-person activities,” she wrote.
By Bettina Thiel – Orange Town News Correspondent