The phase-in schedule and cohort model for in-person instruction at Monticello High School has been changed in order to relieve staffing and spacing issues identified as students have begun to return to the building. The only students who will return to the school building in the week of Sept. 29 through Oct. 2 are ninth-grade students in cohorts A or B and students in cohort C. During that week, high school staff will contact all students in all grades who are currently in cohort A or B to assign them to one of four new cohort subgroups – A1, A2, B1 or B2. Beginning the week of Oct. 5, all students who are in cohorts A1, A2, B1 or B2 will attend in-person instruction one day per week and remote instruction four days per week. Students will work remotely when not scheduled for in-person instruction.
Week of Sept. 29-Oct. 2:
- Ninth-grade students in cohorts A/B and cohort C; all other grades/cohorts remote
- Students currently enrolled in cohorts A/B will receive new cohort subgroup assignment
Week of Oct. 5-9, New cohort model begins as follows:
- Monday: Cohort A1, grades 9-12 and Cohort C
- Tuesday: Cohort A2, grades 9-12 and Cohort C
- Wednesday: All students remote
- Thursday: Cohort B1, grades 9-12 and Cohort C
- Friday: Cohort B2, grades 9-12 and Cohort C
All students who attend a BOCES program will continue to have transportation provided as currently planned and will be provided with transportation home on days they are not scheduled to attend the high school building in-person.
Why are we making these changes?
Our top priority, as always, is to ensure the health and safety of each student and staff member, while providing the most robust education possible during these unconventional times.
The model produced in the HS has students remaining in “pods” or “clusters” in one room throughout the day. Teachers or paraprofessionals cycle through these rooms, for supervision, to minimize student traffic in the halls and the need to clean rooms/workspaces every period. In any period, students may be working on assignments or other activities in Microsoft Teams for different classes. The role of the staff member in that room is to provide supervision.
If the HS were to continue on the original plan (two days/week for each cohort) or expand the live, in-person direct instruction offerings, the school would need to either (a) hire additional personnel, or (b) reduce course offerings.
While none of these options are preferred, we believe the shift to the four A/B cohorts (one day/week) is the better alternative at this time.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Linda Oehler-Marx and Principal Stephen Wilder will be presenting this adjustment at the Board meeting scheduled for Oct. 1. Mr. Wilder will also host two virtual town halls on September 30th from 5:30-7:00 and on October 1st from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The link to join these meetings will be posted to our website calendar as soon as possible.
While we had hoped for a better outcome, the limitations on staffing and space have forced the school to reduce in-person offerings. We are, however, still able to provide course offerings similar to those in the previous year.
What will the in-person experience be like?
Following the student’s arrival to school, each student will complete the health screening and receive a “grab and go” breakfast. They will report to their assigned classroom, which will be shared with other students of the same grade level, or with students from one grade lower or higher (ex. 9th and 10th graders might be in the same room, 10th and 11th graders might be in the same room, 11th and 12th graders might be in the same room). Classrooms may have between 10 and 20 students assigned to each room with physical distancing.
Students will be required to bring their device, charger, and headphones with them to school. Students will participate in their assigned classes remotely through our learning management system, Microsoft Teams. Each room will be supervised by a teacher or teaching assistant every period of the day. The classroom will be staffed by a teacher for most of the school day. The time with teachers is not for direct instruction and is not likely to be with your student’s teacher. The focus will be on academic support during the student’s independent work time.
Lunches will be delivered at the start of 6th period (11:18 a.m. – 12 p.m.). Students may bring their own lunch and/or snacks with them to eat. All food and drink must be consumed at the student’s assigned workspace. No food or drink is allowed to be dropped off at the school for students. We recommend students bring water bottles and use our water bottle filling stations for refills. Our water fountains are not for use.
Students will begin departing school shortly after 2 p.m. when the first buses are scheduled to pick up and depart. Students will follow the announcements given at the end of the day for departure. Parent pick-up will occur following the departure of the last bus at approximately 2:30 pm.
What are the benefits of the in-person experience?
- Connection with certificated professionals in-person who can assist with:
- completion of course assignments.
- development of executive functioning skills. Examples include:
- time management
- use of computer applications
- in-person support with social-emotional wellness, both in class and through our suite of guidance services. Examples include the promotion of:
- a productive mindset or outlook on individual success.
- exploration of post-high school opportunities.
- connection to clubs and activities.
- how to cope with trauma and other emotional struggles.
- healthy resolutions for internal and external conflict.
- healthy choices for interpersonal relationships.
- Access to reliable high-speed internet and in-person tech support.
- Ample workspace that promotes focus on schoolwork.
- Direct access to school breakfast and lunch.
My child is in cohort C — what has changed for them?
Nothing. Students in cohort C will continue to attend in-person instruction on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with students learning remotely on Wednesdays
What are the high school’s next steps?
We will continue to explore options and opportunities to improve the educational and extra-curricular experience for students. This educational model will be revisited and revised based on the additional guidance from our New York State Education Department and our New York State Department of Health.
Can I switch my child to remote learning in wake of these changes?
Yes, please contact your guidance counselor for more information.
Virtual Town Hall
Mr. Wilder will also host two virtual town halls on September 30th from 5:30-7:00 and on October 1st from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The link to join these meetings will be posted to our website calendar as soon as possible.
Zoom info for Sept. 30:
Zoom info for Oct. 1