Grade 6-11 students to shift to 4 day in-person instruction beginning May 20

GASD parents and students,

This letter is being sent to provide you with an update on the district’s plans for shifting students in grades 6-11 to in-person instruction four days per week beginning Thursday, May 20. This change essentially ends the need for the middle and high school level Purple and Gold hybrid groupings we formulated in September during the height of the COVID pandemic.

As COVID numbers continue to show improvement in our state and region, I am excited about this opportunity to safely bring more children back in school where they belong for their academic, social and emotional growth and wellbeing.

Please note that Wednesdays will remain a Remote Only Learning day for all general PreK-12 students. There are no changes to the current schedule for GASD Special Education students. All elementary school students Pre-K-grade 5 shifted to four-day-per-week in-person instruction in March and high school seniors (12 grade) made the shift earlier this month.

Recently the district completed a Google survey of secondary school parents interested in shifting from Remote Only Learning to in-person instruction Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays going forward. Parents indicated through their responses that they supported this shift.

Additionally, New York state health officials have adopted the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance for safely spacing students in school classrooms from 6 feet to 3 feet. We continue to stay abreast of these and other safety guidelines to make our schools as safe as possible and we have revised our School Reopening Plan from last fall to reflect these changes.

Greater Amsterdam school reopening plan for 2020-21 – Revised May, 2021

Transportation cards for the new grade 6-11 attendance schedules are now being mailed to student’s homes. Please remember to complete the Parent Square safety app each in-person school day before 9 a.m., and continue to follow all safety protocols that are in place (mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing, etc.) whether or not you have been COVID vaccinated.

Finally, let me repeat that this is encouraging news in what has been a long and extremely challenging time for all of us. I commend everyone for being stringent with the safety protocols we have in place as this has helped us get to this point. Please be assured, however, that if conditions change we will not hesitate to shift to full or partial remote instruction as safety remains our top priority. As a district, we will continue to report new cases through our notification system as they arise and follow the guidance of our state and county health officials.

Rich Ruberti
GASD Superintendent of Schools