More than 160 members of a task force, representatives from public health and other experts, helped the Rochester School District form its plan for teaching students amid a pandemic.
But there are still a lot of questions.
Under the School District's plan, announced Friday, elementary-age students will be in school two days a week and learn from home the other three. Secondary students will exclusively learn from home.
Superintendent Michael Muñoz said the two-tier model is the best decision for the safety of students and staff at this time. The school year starts Sept. 2. The plan would remain in place through Oct. 30, when district leaders will review the public health situation and determine how to continue.
When the district posted the plan on social media, reaction was mixed.
"I do not think any part was done correctly," said Nicole Hollar, a mother of elementary-age children. "I don't feel distance learning is the option. I feel school should be open for those who feel comfortable going and the ones that don't can stay home and do distance learning."
In an RPS survey asking parents which option they were most comfortable with, in-person classes received almost twice as much support as the hybrid model.
Students have concerns, too. During a joint virtual forum involving the district's three high schools, students asked about classmates who don't have access to health care. What happens if they get sick? They also asked about distance learning, which was hurriedly implemented last spring.
Muñoz promised a much smoother entrance into distance learning.
"We will do better than we did last spring because we now know better," he said during Friday's announcement.
All told, the district's plan appears well considered. It relies on data from public health and other experts, it will be reassessed on a continuing basis, and it allows parents to opt out of the hybrid option and have their child do distance learning.
How the plan performs in its first test on Oct. 30 will likely prove telling. There is still much to learn.