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The following message from Superintendent Guntlow was emailed to all Ichabod Crane families on Friday, March 5. It contains information about welcoming back 6th-grade hybrid schedule students to a 4-day per week, in-person learning schedule and introducing a synchronous instruction model for grades 7-12. Both of these will be effective as of Monday, March 15.

The message is also available on district letterhead in English here and Spanish here.

All previous school reopening news and COVID-19 updates can be found on the district’s Reopening Information page here.

Dear Ichabod Crane Families,

As the winter ends and the transition to spring approaches, I have some exciting developments to announce. On Monday, March 15, we will welcome back our 6th-grade students currently on the hybrid schedule to a 4-day per week, in-person learning schedule.  Wednesday will remain a full remote day consistent with the Middle School schedule. In addition, grades 7-12 will be using a model of synchronous instruction where students will be required daily to join a Google Meet.  Both of these updates are designed to increase student engagement and to support overall well-being through more face-to-face interactions.   

This school year we have operated under a hybrid learning model where K-5 students attend in-person every day and 6-12 students alternate remote and in-person. We have been closely monitoring the possibility of additional grades coming back to full time learning with the assistance of the Columbia County Department of Health. However, under the current New York State Department of Health school guidelines, we remain limited in our ability to accommodate a full in-person return for all 6-12 students. 

The CC Department of Health has helped us develop a plan to safely bring back our entire sixth grade.  The small size of the class has allowed us to accomplish this through a combination of our existing safety protocols and the limited use of some protective barriers. Our Transportation Department also determined that we can safely accommodate the increased transportation needs, though families are still encouraged to drop-off students when possible. Our 6th graders are the youngest students on hybrid schedules and thus were prioritized as the next class back in-person.            

With vaccination rates increasing, warmer weather approaching and COVID-19 case numbers dropping, we remain hopeful that new guidelines for schools will be forthcoming from the Department of Health and State Education Department. Ultimately our goal is a safe return to in-person learning for all students. We are excited about our grade 6 students returning and about the increased engagement for grades 7-12 through more synchronous instruction. Additional details on both of these updates will be emailed shortly to families in grades 6-12 from the building principals and assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. 

We will continue to monitor the latest guidance for schools from NYSDOH and will keep you informed of all relevant changes. I am excited to welcome back our grade 6 students and I look forward to the moment we are all back together again.    

Thank you again for your understanding, patience and support.     

Suzanne Guntlow
Superintendent of Schools