Poughkeepsie officials have decided to keep students from returning to the classroom.

After much consideration, the Poughkeepsie City School District has opted to start the 2020-21 school year remotely.

"Over the past several weeks the Poughkeepsie City School District has engaged in the process of evaluating which instructional delivery model (i.e. in-person, distance learning, hybrid) would be deployed in the opening of schools in September. After careful and deliberate consideration and planning it has been determined that the most appropriate instructional delivery model to begin our school year will be distance learning (remote instruction)," Superintendent Dr. Eric Jay Rosser said in a letter to parents sent to Hudson Valley Post. " This was not an easy decision to make, but please know that it was made with
the best interest of all of our students, teachers, staff and parents in mind."

The decision was made after nearly 58 percent of survey parents said they prefer starting the school year off remotely, officials say.

"Additional factors that informed this decision included a great need to guarantee that the safety and health of students and staff will be protected while high-quality instruction is being provided in school and needing additional time to address this need under the school reopening requirements of the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department," Rosser said.

To prepare for the upcoming school year the school district will provide students with:

  • Distribute Chromebooks, musical instruments, and other instructional supplies to our students and families
  •  Provide parents and students with multiple opportunities to better understand how to navigate the online instructional environment
  • Engage our teachers and administrators in professional development to improve the robustness of our online teaching practices,
  • Provide our teachers with time to collaborate so that the planning and delivery of
    remote instruction is amplified
  • Continue to develop our ability to deliver social emotional and wellness supports for our students remotely
  •  Continue to develop strategies to deliver high-quality supports to students with
    exceptionalities
  •  Establish thirteen locations throughout Poughkeepsie to provide students with free breakfast and lunches.

Officials will evaluate the readiness of instruction during the month of September and provide an update to parents on Oct 1.

A number of school districts have decided to keep students home at the start of the school year, with students returning around October.

This week, a large number of teachers from across the Hudson Valley said schools should not reopen in September.