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RCSD still waiting for some parents' preferences on hybrid model

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Parents whose children attend the Rochester City School District have until Friday to let the district know whether they want to stick with remote learning or shift to a hybrid model on Jan. 4.

The district extended the deadline for families to respond to a survey detailing their preferences.

As of Thursday morning, 85% of the parents with elementary students in the district and 69% of those with secondary students had responded.

Of those responses, about 20% of the parents of secondary students and about 26% of the parents of elementary students do want them to return to in-person classes two days a week.

"I thought we'd have more families choosing (the hybrid model) just because the community has reached out, parents and caregivers have reached out, students in their survey weeks ago said they were confident or comfortable," said Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small, "but things have changed since we've administered some of that information. We're in an orange zone. We weren't even in yellow at that time."

Myers-Small is urging people to adhere to public health guidelines for the sake of the students.

She is also asking district families for patience and flexibility in the coming months.

"We are starting with offering in-person learning, obviously, later than our Monroe County school districts," said Myers-Small, "so we'll be going over some of those hurdles and some of those bumps that our counterparts experienced, now."

She said students whose families do not respond to the district survey by Friday will continue to learn remotely for the rest of the school year.

The district said it has tried to contact families by phone and emails and through social media.

If parents have not heard from their child's school, they are asked to contact the school and update their contact information.

Most schools within the City School District are currently in a state-designated "orange zone." Those schools are required to test 20% of its in-person students and staff for COVID-19 each month.

Parental consent is needed for students to get the test.

If the 20% threshold is not met at any given school, it would have to temporarily close.