New Rochelle High School returned to a hybrid educational model this week, becoming the final City School District of New Rochelle school to allow students to return after a precautionary “yellow zone” in the city caused the schools to temporarily switch to all-remote learning.
The District initially phased from an all-remote to a hybrid model at the start of the school year, but returned to the virtual plan on November 20, 2020 after sections of New Rochelle were classified as yellow zones under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Cluster Action Initiative plan. The colored zones – yellow, orange and red – denote concerning rises in the prevalence of the illness caused by the coronavirus.
“We’re encouraged by our current ability to return the entire District to a hybrid platform,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero. “We have created efficient notification protocols when a student or staff member tests positive, and that allows us to continue welcoming students to school in cohorts while ensuring that individual staff members and students quarantine themselves if they have been in contact with another who tests positive.”
The color designations do not require Districts to close schools; rather it requires the District to ensure that 20% or 30% of the in-school population (students and staff) are tested for COVID-19.
In a hybrid plan, students are divided into cohorts, each of which is permitted to report for in-school learning on alternate days, and joins classes remotely on other days. The schools returned to hybrid models in phases, beginning with the youngest students. On Jan. 11, 2021, the Alternative Campus School returned to NRHS, and the rest of NRHS returned to hybrid on Tuesday, January 19.
Freshman Andrea Ponce said in-person learning adds a dimension that all-remote learning doesn’t offer.
“I feel like you have better interactions with your teacher, so you have more hands-on learning,” Ponce said today in her Living Environment class.
The District posts COVID-19 updates in its COVID Resource Center, including which schools are on hybrid vs. all-remote platforms, and which schools have had individual staff members or students test positive after being in school.