All county high schools will begin their instructional day at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesdays – one hour later than the start on the other four days of the week – effective March 17, 2021, Superintendent George Arlotto announced today.

Dr. Arlotto said he decided to make the change after considering input from students, including those on his Teen Advisory Committee, and high school staff who believe the shift could be more easily accomplished because schools operate virtually on Wednesdays. As part of COVID-19 pandemic health and safety protocols, schools undergo a thorough cleaning each Wednesday. Teachers teach from off-campus locations and students engage in virtual learning, though school buildings are accessible and school counselors are available.

High schools will continue to start at their normal times on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Dr. Arlotto’s decision leaves the order of instructional periods on Wednesdays intact, with the mandatory Community Wellness class being the first of the day. The length of the instructional day and the teacher work day will remain unchanged.

HYBRID LEARNING WAITING LISTS

Dr. Arlotto also announced that schools will temporarily suspend action on family requests to switch students from virtual to hybrid learning.

“We have said all along that hybrid learning would be an evolving process and our schools are receiving more and more requests for students to come back into our buildings,” Dr. Arlotto said. “What is most important for our school administrators right now is to help students, teachers and other staff members get settled into the hybrid environment safely and smooth out some of the bumps on this road. We will move more students into hybrid as soon as we can in as many schools as we can. The time to do that is not now, however, so we need to briefly halt changes and additions to classrooms and buses.”

Dr. Arlotto said procedures for families who want to switch their students to hybrid learning or who wish to opt into bus transportation services during this school year will be announced in the coming weeks.


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