Reopening Plans

Dear Port Jervis Learning Community, 

I am hopeful that all are enjoying the summer and remaining healthy and safe, while also looking forward to the 2020-2021 school year.  

As a district, we have monitored all guidance from the New York State Education Department, as well as federal, state and local health departments regarding the opening of schools, while keeping our students, faculty, staff, and by extension their families, as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.  New York State Education Department and the New York State Department of Health have established a deadline of July 31, 2020 for school districts to submit and post their individual reopening plans for the upcoming school year.  To this end, the Port Jervis City School District Reopening Plan for the 2020-2021 school year is posted on our District website and the necessary assurances have been submitted to both entities. 

Included in the plan are the assurances and protocols for screening, cleaning, and disinfecting protocols. However, the primary purpose of this letter is to provide an overview of the instructional plan for the 2020-2021 school year.  It has been determined that given the current guidance, coupled with ensuring the safety of our learning community, that the optimal plan would include established phases that range from remote learning to a hybrid model to the optimal platform of all students attending school, each day.  This tiered approach will provide our school district with a platform to progress through the phases or revert to a lower phase, if necessary, based on guidance and directives from government and health officials, thereby allowing for increased flexibility throughout the upcoming months.

While the final decision regarding the status of opening schools in September will be determined by Governor Cuomo, the Port Jervis City School District Plan provides our students, families, and our faculty and staff with an established model of instruction regardless of the directives.  Furthermore, it is designed to provide continuity and predictability, to the greatest extent possible, for our families.  

As the Instructional Phase Plan contains several components, there will be multiple ways that this information will be conveyed to our learning community to ensure that all involved have an understanding of the phases, why these phases are being used, and what the possible schedules of students will look like in each of the phases.  I have separated the major components of the plan into three overview segments.  A link has been placed on our website with a screencast explaining the Cohort Model, the Instructional Phases, and the specific schedules that will exist throughout the phases.  

Overview of the Instructional Phase Plan

  • All students will be placed in a cohort, or set group.  Each cohort will be made up of approximately 50% of the student population.  Students from the same household will be placed in the same cohort.  
  • During Instructional Phases when 100% capacity in our school buildings and classrooms is not possible, the cohorts will rotate between in-person instruction and remote instruction.  In each of these Instructional Phases, students that are scheduled for remote instruction will follow their traditional schedule and attend classes and receive instruction through the Google platform. 
  • Students in Kindergarten, First Grade, as well as English Language Learner, Self-Contained, and Special Class programs in the Port Jervis City School District will attend school each day in-person instruction is taking place.  These students will not rotate in cohorts. 


Overview of the Instructional Phases

  • Instructional Phase 1 : All students are engaged in remote learning
  • Instructional Phase 2 : 25% of students attend school in-person, 75% of students are remote
  • Instructional Phase 3 : 50% of students attend school in-person, 50% of students are remote; 1 day per week will be 100% remote
  • Instructional Phase 4 : 50% of students attend school in-person, 50% of students are remote; Cohorts rotate with 3 days of in-person instruction one week and 2 days of in-person instruction the following week
  • Instructional Phase 5 : 100% of students attend school in-person  


Projected Timeline for the Initial Transition for Instructional Phases 1 - 3 

  • Instructional Phase 1 : September 3 and 4
  • Instructional Phase 2 : September 8 - 11
  • Instructional Phase 3 : Beginning September 14 - TBD

*This is subject to change based on guideline and directives.  

I appreciate the tremendous support and patience that has been demonstrated by our learning community as we navigate through this, together.  

Be well and enjoy the summer.  


Mike Rydell

Superintendent of Schools