OSWEGO — Middle and high school students in the Oswego City School District could return to in-person learning under a “hybrid model” as soon as later this month.
In a letter sent home to parents over the weekend, Superintendent Dr. Mathis Calvin III said the district was aiming for to re-open Oswego High School on Monday, March 8 and Monday, Feb. 22 for Oswego Middle School.
“I want to thank all of our administration, staff and families who have been working hard to get this information finalized and plans in place for a safe, in-person return to schools,” said Calvin. “We’re incredibly excited to see students in all seven of our buildings for the first time this school year.”
According to district officials, students have an option to remain fully remote should they choose and those opting into the hybrid model will be split alphabetically between grade levels, attending either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday.
The high school schedule will run from 7:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., with classes running 30 minutes apiece and nine periods throughout the day, Mathis said. Informational packets with updated class schedules are forthcoming to student households. Classes will shift to reflect this new schedule Thursday, March 4 ahead of the in-person return March 8.
Classes will be offered in-person and also streamed live on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will be a fully virtual learning day for all students, and is a “dedicated deep-cleaning day” at the high school.
“Students will travel to classes while maintaining social distance, and all will continue to be provided with breakfast and lunch,” Mathis said.
Teachers will offer appointments after 12:45 p.m. to meet in-person or remotely to assist students, and those with a sport beginning at 2:30 p.m. will be allowed to stay after school in a study hall.
“Please know that safety is our number one priority when returning your child to OHS,” said OHS Principal Patrick Wallace. “All safety guidelines like social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing are part of our plan.”
Freshman orientation tours will be offered by appointment on March 4 and 5 starting at 1 p.m., and further information on that will be sent home.
Oswego Middle School is ready for its own return a couple of weeks earlier as students are set for a Feb. 22 start to its own in-person hybrid schedule.
“We are so looking forward to this new chapter at OMS,” said Principal Mary Beth Fierro. “Please know we have worked on this plan day and night for months, but we will adjust things as needed.”
The district has launched a dedicated page with Oswego Middle School reopening information that can be viewed through the OMS webpage on Oswego.org. In addition to an informational video, students and parents can review facts for hybrid students, a letter to parents, the re-opening plan at-a-glance and in full, and more.
Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classroom and provided free of charge, and middle school students may bring their own lunch. District officials said students will follow the same schedule both in the building and while virtual, when classes will be streamed live. In addition, students will carry their belongings to each class, so backpacks are recommended.
OMS band and orchestra will run lessons in person, while chorus and full ensemble remains virtual. OMS club activities will also be virtual.
If parents did not complete a survey regarding the in-person return, their student has been placed in the full virtual model for all of the third quarter, according to Mathis. Another survey will be sent home March 5 to determine any changes from virtual to hybrid of vice versa for the fourth quarter.
For the first week of classes, the schedule is as follows for students who have selected hybrid learning:
- Monday, Feb. 22: Only 7th grade hybrid students assigned to Monday/Tuesday.
- Tuesday, Feb. 23: Only 8th grade hybrid students assigned to Monday/Tuesday.
- Thursday, Feb. 25: Only 7th grade hybrid students assigned to Thursday/Friday.
- Friday, Feb. 26: Only 8th grade hybrid students assigned to Thursday/Friday.
Students who are riding the bus to OMS will receive information via mail from the transportation department the week of Feb. 15.
Those with further questions should check online for resources or reach out to their child’s principal.