BINGHAMTON, NY – The Binghamton City School District is offering students a choice in how they receive instruction this fall in a plan that relies heavily on synchronous teaching.
Binghamton is giving families the option of fully remote learning or a hybrid between in-person and virtual instruction.
In surveys, roughly a third of students are opting to stay home.
Those who attend will go to school 2 days per week, either Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays.
All teaching will be remote on Wednesdays.
Students will once again be provided with Chrome books or tablets and the virtual class day for middle and high school students will be structured to mimic the in-school day.
That gives teachers the option of teaching both sets of students simultaneously by utilizing Google Classroom and web cams.
Superintendent Tonia Thompson says she’s confident the district has developed the right plan.
“We put a number of guiding principles in place in the development of our plan. To recognize and hear the voices of those we serve and we wanted to provide a choice. We spent a lot of time doing that,” says Thompson.
Thompson says the school is also offering additional training for parents and teachers on how to use the remote technology.
As for safety protocols in the schools, students will have their temperatures taken upon entering and faculty and staff are asked to before coming in.
Everyone will wear masks, although there will be periodic mask breaks when students are properly distanced.
Class schedules will be staggered to reduce hallway crowding and fewer electives will be offered freeing up teachers to teach core subjects in smaller class sizes.
And the district is looking to push back the start of school for the kids to September 14th, allowing the teachers the first week to familiarize themselves with the new arrangement.