KINDERHOOK – After a year of students learning through a combination of face-to-face and online classes, the Ichabod Crane Central School District surveyed families about the upcoming school year.
A total of 483 families from the district responded to Ichabod Crane’s Parent / Guardian Planning Survey 2021-22. Participants answered questions on topics such as communication, transportation, athletics, hospitality, health and safety, mental health and socio-emotional learning, technology, and school return in general.
“We do not have a full opening plan as we are again waiting for an updated guidance document from the State Department of Education and the Department of Health,” said Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow. “However, we are using the same format that we used last summer when we created our 2020 reopening plan.”
Ichabod Crane has a task force that consists of 17 members, including administrators, directors, the teachers’ association president, and a board member, Guntlow said.
“You are the steering committee for the reopening plan,” said Guntlow. “Then, similar to last year, we will have four sub-committees headed by members of the task force.”
The subcommittees are organized around health and safety, academics at all three levels, mental health, socio-emotional well-being, operations, and athletics. The subcommittees also include additional staff, faculty members and parents, Guntlow said.
“The results of the parent survey in each of these areas were passed on to the appropriate committees to aid the decision-making process,” said Guntlow. “Each of these committees will report to the task force, and the task force will eventually draft the plan.”
The district will share the plan for the upcoming school year with the community as it is created and on the district website.
One of the questions asked by parents who participated in the survey was what to do next year if the district followed the current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which require a social distance of six feet between adults and three Recommend walking between students with masks at all times.
The majority of parents and guardians, or 88% of respondents, responded that they intend to have their students return to school in person in the classroom each day with the safety guidelines in place.
Some of the biggest challenges to spacing were in the cafeteria, Guntlow said. She said that when students eat, they must keep a distance of two meters.
“Our goal is to get back to school as much as possible, as far as the guidance allows us to get back to normal,” said Guntlow. “We want, ideally, that 100% of our children are full-time and personally in school again. We encourage our local representatives and the State Department of Education and Department of Health to give us the guidance that will enable us to do this as soon as possible so that we can set our plans and really be ready for September. “
Ichabod Crane has an enrollment of 1,660 students, Guntlow said. In the current school year, kindergarten through 7th grade are in the school, personally. This school year, the students in grades 8 to 12 learn according to a hybrid model in which they are secluded on some days and attend classes in person on others.
There are also many students who use the hybrid model but come to school for extra days as needed, Guntlow said.
“So when they struggled academically, socially, or emotionally, we really tried to bring back as many children as we needed,” said Guntlow. “Because we still have limited intervals due to the guidelines and our scheduling is based on a hybrid model.”
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