In-person instruction days for middle school, high school and Sussex Consortium students will increase after spring break, Cape Superintendent Bob Fulton announced in a letter to parents March 22.
Since the school year began in September, middle and high school students have been divided into cohorts; students attend school either completely remote or in a hybrid model.
Hybrid students are in school two days a week, either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday, and all students work from home independently or via Zoom on Wednesdays.
Beginning Wednesday, April 14, the two in-person cohorts will alternate in-person learning on Wednesdays, beginning with the Thursday/Friday cohort.
“When developing this schedule, administration took the number of in-person days each cohort has already had for the school year into consideration,” Fulton wrote. “Since the Monday/Tuesday cohort has had more in-person days, the Thursday/Friday cohort will start the Wednesday rotation.”
The following Wednesday, April 21, the Monday/Tuesday cohort will attend in-person learning.
“With the two cohorts alternating attendance each Wednesday, this ensures that all hybrid students will attend school in person a minimum of five days every two weeks,” Fulton wrote.
Due to PSAT and AP testing, all Cape High students will have remote days on Wednesday, April 21; Wednesday, May 5; and Wednesday, May 12; Fulton said.
In-person Sussex Consortium students from grade six through age 21 will attend five days a week beginning Monday, April 12; Sussex Consortium students who attend Cape High will also be remote on April 21, and May 5 and 12.
In November, in-person days for Sussex Consortium students from grade six through 21 years increased to four days a week, up two days from when the school year began. As in other district elementary schools, in-person Sussex Consortium elementary students have attended five days a week since September.
In a March 24 email, Fulton said the district goal has been and continues to be to provide in-person learning opportunities to as many students as possible for as many days as possible.
“Adding Wednesdays as in-person instruction days for secondary schools gets us closer to realizing this goal,” he said. “By starting the rotation with the Thursday/Friday cohort, it will allow that group to catch up with the Monday/Tuesday cohort with the number of in-person instruction days they’ve had for the school year.”
At the elementary level, Fulton said, about 70 percent of students are currently receiving in-person instruction five days a week, with about 220 students on waitlists.
“We will continue to work through the end of the school year to increase in-person instruction for as many students as possible,” Fulton said. “We know that the number of students in our schools and on our buses is directly related to the social distancing protocols we are required to follow, but within those constraints, we will continue to look at creative ways to increase in-person opportunities for students in all of our schools.”