Sag Harbor School Board Offered Two Additional Reopening Plans

Sag Harbor Schools Superintendent Jeff Nichols gives last-minute instructions to the seniors prior to the start of the Pierson High School 2020 Commencement Ceremony at Pierson High School on Saturday, June 27.

The Sag Harbor School District’s Zoom account, which is limited to 100 people, was maxed out Tuesday, July 28, forcing the district to livestream the event on YouTube when the

School Board once again discussed plans for reopening in the fall.

Superintendent Jeff Nichols announced that the district task force, which has been charged with coming up with a reopening plan, has proposed two additional options to a recommendation unveiled last week that would have students in prekindergarten through ninth grade attend school in person and students in 10th through 12th grades continue to be educated by remote means.

That proposal drew heavy criticism last week. After receiving the results of a survey in which 72 percent of parents wanted to send their kids back to school if possible, the committee came up with two new options.

In one option, students in prekindergarten through eighth grade would attend school every day, while those in ninth through 12th grade would attend on a hybrid schedule that would have the students on campus two days a week and receiving remote instruction the other three days. Under the arrangement, half the students would attend on Mondays and Tuesdays, and half would attend on Thursdays and Fridays. All students would be taught remotely on Wednesday, and on that day, the school would be thoroughly cleaned.

The second new option would have children in prekindergarten through eighth grade attend every day and those in ninth through 12th grades attend five days a week on a half-day schedule of four periods in either morning or afternoon.

The board took a number of questions from parents. Some questioned the wisdom of reopening school, others cited concerns about impacts restrictions such as a requirement to wear masks, could have on special needs students, and others wanted to know how the district would plan to help high school students who would be preparing for college.

A final decision on a reopening plan was not rendered at Tuesday’s meeting. Mr. Nichols said although the state has ordered districts to submit plans by Friday, July 31, districts will have options to adjust those plans as the school year approaches.