CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It has almost been a year since schools were forced to shutdown in-person instruction. March 18 was the exact date. Capital Region School districts have faced many obstacles along the way.
Although it will take some time, local superintendents are working to move forward to a full in-person learning model once capacity guidelines are lifted. Ken Slentz, Superintendent of Ballston Spa Schools, says the district has come a long way since last March. He says slowly but surely, the district will eventually move to full, in-person learning—but it’s going to take months for that to happen.
“We’re spending a lot of time now, kind of looking in the rearview mirror. What are the lessons that we have learned? What do we want to keep doing as we come out of this? Because we have learned a lot of really good things about some of our kids, about some of our staff, about some of our processes and protocols, some of the tools that we use. And we’re not just going to put that on the shelf with the Department of Health guidelines are lifted,” says Slentz.
Mohonasen Central School District Superintendent Shannon Shine is itching to get all the students back. He’s hoping that can happen by fall. “I’m very eager for such a transition. That is the thing that keeps me up at night, knowing that some of our students—we might be losing them. We’re not serving them the way we should. We want to do our jobs, and we want to do it well,” says Shines.
Shine says safety will always be the No. 1 priority for the students and faculty. In order to move to fully in-person learning, there needs to be a balance between safety and practicality.
“We don’t drive cars at 15 miles an hour. Then you can’t get anywhere. So, you have to balance safety with practicality. And we’ve really gone ahead of ourselves and done a splendid job in the Capital District Region,” says Shine.
Although it may take months, both districts say they’re on the path to normalcy.