Nearly 3 in 10 opt for fully-remote instruction as Rome preps for Oct. 26 in-person start

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About 72% of Rome school district students whose families responded to a district survey plan to resume in-person instruction while 28% intend to continue learning fully remotely, according to the district's updated reopening plan amid the COVID-19 situation.

In addition, 44% of those students who plan on in-person learning need district transportation to attend school, says the results based on about 84% of district families who as of this week have responded to a recent instructional choice survey, says the plan; overall, 4,457 families have responded.

Updates to the plan were cited by district Superintendent Peter C. Blake on Sunday in his online blog regarding students' scheduled return to general instruction classrooms beginning Oct. 26 for a hybrid schedule of in-person and remote instruction. The district's general instruction has been on an all-remote basis since its 2020-21 academic year began in mid-September.

The reopening plan notes that 75% of all students need daily meals according to survey data, while 95% of responding families have access to reliable internet service and 77% of students have access to a computer at home. The document also said the district is "continuing their efforts to reach all families by placing phone calls to student families in an attempt to complete survey data for everyone."

Another round of Chromebook distributions for any student who has been on a waiting list has been scheduled by the district for today through Thursday; the district has been distributing Chromebooks for students who are in need of them to assist at-home learning. In addition, "the use of Chromebooks within the classrooms will be greater than before as the district is now able to be completely 1:1" regarding electronic devices for each student, said Blake's blog. The Chromebook distribution schedule for this week, including at all district schools plus the district office, is at https://leadingthroughlistening.blogspot.com/2020/10/thank-you-boe.html online.

Among various other information in the district's 89-page reopening plan while accounting for COVID-19 is data on each school building's adjusted capacities with social distancing restrictions. The totals, compared to full student populations for the buildings:

• Pre-K (at former Clough school building) — 90-108 students with social distancing, and 120 full population;

• Elementary (grades K-6)

Bellamy — 290-348 students with social distancing, and 496 full population;

Denti — 290-348, and 506 full;

Gansevoort— 240-288, and 328 full:

Joy — 210-252, and 350 full;

Ridge Mills — 170-204, and 367 full;

Staley — 440-528, and 626 full;

Stokes, 170-204, and 324 full;

• Strough Middle School (grades 7-8)— 352-440 students with social distancing, and 829 full;

• Rome Free Academy‚ 540-680 students with social distancing, and 1,578 full.

The reopening plan and other district information relating to COVID-19 are at https://sites.google.com/romecsd.org/romereopening/home online.

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