Rochester City School District
Media Advisory
December 18, 2020
Editor Contact:
Marisol Ramos-Lopez
585.455.2844 (m)
Update from Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small on RCSD Reopening Plan
Phase 1: Starts Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Phase 2: Starts Monday, February 8, 2020

Phase 3: 7 - 12 students will continue with virtual learning for the remainder of the school year
The Rochester City School District is just a few short weeks away from having some of its students return to Phase 1 of its in-person learning on January 5! K - 12 Students with Disabilities in Specialized Programs will start January 5, which is a new start date. Staff members of that specific student population are being allowed access to visit classrooms in these buildings between now and January 4th for any needed classroom set up or care.

In November, Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small presented a reopening plan to the Board of Education, who approved a model that returns more students to hybrid/in-person learning.

Two weeks ago, schools contacted families about their preferred choice of learning for the remainder of the school year. Families chose to continue with either fully remote learning or a hybrid/in-person model with two days of in-person instruction for their child(ren). Overwhelmingly, a majority of our families supported the remote learning model we have been using since the beginning of this school year. The results are below:
Those families who did not respond with a selection or were undecided will remain remote and continue to receive four days of virtual learning. Wednesdays will continue to be an asynchronous/independent day of learning.  

Phase 2 for grades Pre-K - 6 will begin on Monday, February 8, 2021 for our general and special education students who chose hybrid/in-person learning. These students will receive four days of instruction: two consecutive days will be hybrid/in-person and two days will be fully remote. Wednesdays will be completely asynchronous/independent learning. In most circumstances, students will keep their existing teachers. 

While our hybrid students attend class in-person, remote students will join using zoom for a part of the school day. Teachers will teach remote and in-person students at the same time using Seesaw and Google classrooms as our primary learning platforms. Hybrid/in-person learning will also include asynchronous/independent learning opportunities for all students. Teachers will utilize a variety of methods to ensure that our students are engaged and have access to high-quality experiences every day. 

Phase 3: All of our students in grades 7-12 will remain completely virtual. While primary instruction will be delivered in a remote setting, students will have the opportunity to have in-person support in learning pods. Learning pods will include instructional and social emotional support, including resources needed for graduating seniors.

In January, families of students in Pre-K - 6 will receive a letter with their child’s school, teacher’s name, and information about the return to school for hybrid/in-person learning, as well as transportation. Families will also receive the back-to-school guide that can be found online at as well as a consent form allowing the District to test children for COVID-19.

Health and Safety for Hybrid/In-Person Learning
In order to continue having our students attend school for hybrid/in-person instruction, schools will need to test a percentage of students and staff every month for COVID-19.  

If we are unable to meet this New York State requirement, the school will have to close and students will return to fully remote instruction. The District is keeping a close eye on COVID-19 in our community and the latest guidance from New York State, and we know circumstances can change at a moment’s notice. There is a wealth of information provided in the back-to-school guide.

I appreciate the flexibility, resiliency, and understanding everyone in our RCSD community has shown as we prepare to return to in-person learning, keeping everyone healthy and safe. 

Lesli Myers-Small
Superintendent of Schools

131 W. Broad Street, Rochester, NY 14614 | 585-262-8100