Students enrolled in blended learning in city schools this fall can look forward to eating lunch while learning in their classrooms, according to new details released by the Department of Education Tuesday.
The DOE also said live instruction will be provided for kids enrolled in blended or remote learning every day -- the youngest students will get 15-20 consecutive minutes of live instruction, and increasing by grade level, although the complete details of the time requirements were not available.
Schools will post their schedules online for classes and live instruction in advance, for planning purposes. Regardless of whether a student does blended or remote learning, the DOE said students will be expected to meet the same academic policies and standards.
Under Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal for reopening New York City’s 1,606 public schools this fall, each school will choose between one of two models: one with the school population divided into two cohorts, or another option with the population divided into three cohorts. Most students will be on campus between one to three days a week, and enrolled in remote learning the rest of the time. Families can also opt for full remote learning.
The DOE also released more information about lunchtime for students eating inside a school building. With the plan to turn cafeterias into instructional space, students will have lunch inside their classrooms while having instructional time, the DOE said. For elementary kids, that will likely be a “fun, engaging and enriching” session of “interactive read-alouds, social-emotional learning, content through music, etc” according to the DOE. Older students will be lunching while learning class material.
Teachers and staff will have daily 30-minute coordination periods in the morning before the school day starts, to help plan and collaborate between remote and in-person teachers who share students. Teachers are also allocated a 30-minute prep period at the end of the school day for planning.
It was not immediately clear how many students each teacher will be teaching each day, though the DOE said these plans are based on a 6 hour and 50-minute work day for teachers.
The schools will have one faculty and one grade or department conference each month to aid teachers in administrative duties or professional learning.
The DOE said these new guidelines have been developed with the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators and the United Federation of Teachers unions.
“Health and safety come first, and thanks to New York City’s incredible teachers, staff and families, our kids will receive the high-quality instruction they deserve this fall both remotely and in person,” said DOE spokesperson Danielle Filson in a statement. “We are rolling out instructional guidance to our schools based on what we learned this spring and summer for students who are fully remote and for those learning in a blended environment. While there will be some key differences between the two learning models, the expectation for high-quality instruction that is culturally responsive and rigorous remain the same as they always have across the board, for all students.”