April 7 update from Dr. Silver re: instruction going forward

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As I wrote to you last week, we are shifting our focus from providing review and enrichment for students to providing new instruction in a virtual learning environment. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the IT staff will distribute 750 devices to students who have indicated they do not have one at home. Access to the internet is still a problem for a number of students and families, and we are trying to find an affordable solution to reach all kids.

To facilitate this shift in instruction, we will be providing direct instruction Mondays through Thursdays, with Fridays being reserved for students to use Fridays to catch up on work from the week, revise work submitted based on feedback from their teachers, and to turn in completed work. All grade levels will have minutes of instruction that will occur Monday-Thursday in the mornings. These are total minutes of instruction (please note the weekly minutes account for Monday-Thursday):


60 minutes daily/240 minutes weekly

1st grade:

75 minutes daily/300 minutes weekly

2nd grade:

90 minutes daily/360 minutes weekly

3rd grade:

105 minutes daily/420 minutes weekly

4th grade:

120 minutes daily/480 minutes weekly

5th grade:

135 minutes daily/540 minutes weekly

6-12th grade: 

120 minutes daily/480 minutes weekly, with the following notes:

  • MS-Up to 60 mins per class, per week for independent work
  • HS-Up to 120 mins per class, per week for independent work
  • Please Note: CiC and AP classes may have higher amounts work


This allows for the afternoons and Fridays for individual teacher office hours, tutorials and intervention, counseling, and special education services to occur. Please reach out to your teacher directly to learn their office hours schedule. We will try to make Fridays as flexible as possible while providing some respite from everyone’s daily stressors.

I know that some of you do not have regular or reliable access to internet. Teachers will create equivalent weekly work for these students, and it will be mailed home to you. Building principals are creating systems for work return and distribution to teachers. Instructional support for your child will be available by telephone. You will be getting more information on this option from your child’s principal. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s principal.

Finally, if your child receives special education or other related or remedial services, you will receive information directly from your child’s case manager or AIS teacher to provide extra support.

If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your child’s teacher or principal. Principals will be sending out more information today by robocall and on the school’s website.

As we prepared to publish this letter, we learned that Governor Cuomo has extended the state-wide school closure through April 29, 2020. In addition, the Board of Regents approved a series of emergency regulations. We are awaiting guidance on both of these developments and will update as soon as we have more information.