By Jada Seto
In the Sewanhaka Central High School District, regulations of standard conductivity throughout the school day have changed drastically, leaving everyone with a new norm, different daily routines, and many questions about the implications of COVID-19 on the district. After experiencing only a month of the hybrid/remote structure, NHP students and staff have quickly adapted - proving that no matter the circumstance, they stand strong together.
“When I first started the school year as a hybrid student I questioned if I wanted to change to remote due to the lack of interactions with friends...”
After hearing the preliminary plans for the school year presented by Dr. Grossane, superintendent of schools in the Sewanhaka District, families were surveyed to indicate their children’s preference for returning to school. Since then, as an overall district, everyone has been practicing guidelines within the school and most who are participating in hybrid feel secure in their decision.
“When I first started the school year as a hybrid student I questioned if I wanted to change to remote due to the lack of interactions with friends, but I was able to adjust quickly which has benefited me because I focus better in school compared to remote,” said senior David Son.
In the past month, New Hyde Park Memorial closed for three days due to a suspected case involving a staff member who had contact with many individuals during the course of the day. Students and staff were able to quickly obtain information and instruction on how to manage the situation. A few weeks later, the building was shut down again due to a faculty member testing positive. Shortly after this news, NHP received word that four students had also tested positive. It is unclear if these cases are related to each other. The building was deep cleaned on Tuesday, October 20th and students, faculty and staff are set to return on October 26th. Especially with this most recent development, it is important for everyone to be cautious in and out of school.
In an interview with Dr. Grossane, The Chariot was able to learn how the coronavirus has affected our district thus far:
Q: How has this past month's number of students in hybrid/remote learning changed from the original polls sent out to families during the summer?
Dr. James Grossane: The past month's numbers have generally been very reflective of the original survey sent to the communities in August. (3,589 remote students as of October 14, 2020; 3,573 as of the original survey)
Q: How do you feel about the staff and students' adherence to guidelines in place throughout each building?
JG: The staff and students have been exceptionally cooperative adhering to the guidelines in each building. I see everyone wearing their masks and traveling in the correct directions in the hallways. It has been very heartwarming to see everyone caring so much about their classmates and teachers and being so cooperative.
Q: What has been some of the greatest struggles of guaranteeing everyone's safety and protection?
JG: The greatest struggle is being unable to control what takes place when school is not in session. I see many students congregating in groups with little or no social distancing and they are often not wearing their masks. I know it is difficult to follow these guidelines, but I hope everyone will try.
Q: How has the COVID cases affected our district, thus far, and how has our district been combatting and controlling the numbers of impacted individuals?
JG: So far, we have had very few positive cases. Interestingly those that have tested positive have contracted the virus through family or neighborhood gatherings.
Q: For statistical values, what percentage of our district is in hybrid v. remote? Which schools have the most in-school participants? Which school has had the most significant changes from the beginning of the school year?
JG: 55% of our students are currently remote. Floral Park has the highest percentage of students participating in hybrid instruction: 73%. Elmont has seen the most changes since the start of the school year, with 112 additional students now learning remotely.
The beginning of this school year has seen many changes in instructional learning, but the adjustment for students has stayed consistent for the most part. As the rest of the 2020-2021 school year continues, students must remain vigilant by practicing social distancing and mask-wearing in order to ensure everyone's safety.
Source by Saanvi Mirchandani
New signs have been put all over New Hyde Park Memorial in order to promote the CDC and district guidelines.