Limited Space Means Syracuse City Schools Plans for Hybrid Learning

Aug 4, 2020

Westside Academy at Blodgett in Syracuse.
Credit WAER file photo

The Syracuse City School District has a re-opening plan that officials say should minimize the spread of COVID-19.  They’re introducing a two-one-two plan where K through 8 students would be split into two different cohorts. 

In person classes would be held two days a week on Mondays, Tuesdays – AND - Thursday and Fridays.  Superintendent Jaime Alicea says it’s the only way to comply with social distancing guidelines because classroom space will be limited.

"When we look at spacing in our buidlings, I can only fit 12-13 kids in our classrooms.  Based on that and keeping social distancing, we have a hybrid model that will meet those requirements.” 

On days where students stay at home, they would join classes virtually on the internet.  Meanwhile, high school students will attend classes online only, with no in person learning.  Alicea recognizes it’s difficult to ask kids to comply with the guidelines, so the district will offer training to help.

"We're going to be training for the teachers, training for the families, reinforcing the masks and everything taking place for the safe reopening of the schools.” 

Governor Cuomo is expected to make a decision about reopening public schools by Friday.  Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has met with superintendents and wants to see schools reopen fully - with safety measures - because the county’s infection rate remains less than one percent.