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North Country school district to discuss hybrid return to school

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT
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PERU, N.Y. (WCAX) - A North Country, New York school district has released its reopening plan, outlining why and how it’s offering hybrid learning to it’s 2,000 students.

“Gross” is the word incoming Peru freshman Emily Coon uses to describe living in a pandemic summer. “You can’t really do a lot,” she said.

But she and her two other friends that are also starting high school in the fall are making the best of a bad situation. "it's not the same as being in a classroom facing your teacher and you can raise your hand to ask a question," Coon said. But she tries to look at the glass as half-full. "I'm looking forward to seeing my friends more."

Peru Central School District is using hybrid reopening model. That means students will be in the classroom two-days a week and remote three-days a week. Wednesdays will be the universal cleaning day, so no students in class. The district has said that if a parent feels more comfortable with their child being 100% remote, they have the option to do that.

"We really wanted to go five-days in class," said Peru Central School District Superintendent Thomas Palmer.

Palmer says the district, one of the largest in Clinton County, does not have the space to keep its 2,000 students six-feet apart to allow five days a week. "is it optimal? It is for the current situation that we are in. We know it's not the best for our parents and we know that any decision we make for parents -- it isn't the greatest," he said. "The geographic location of where those families are -- there isn't going to be internet service."

The district has purchased three devices to make their buses mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as 100 hotspots for students to sign out and take home. “We will make every effort we can,” Palmer said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has mandated that all districts in New York need to have at least three meetings with parents about their reopening plan. For Peru, it’s Wednesday night at 6 p.m., where Officials will go over the plan. Another meeting on Thursday will be to answer any questions.

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