The senior class at Oyster Bay High School was brought back for in-person instruction, Oct. 26., after spending the first few weeks of school split into two groups that alternated between in-person and remote learning. The hybrid learning model was instituted to reduce density in the building as students adjusted to the new health and safety protocols. After careful evaluation, District officials determined that it was feasible with ongoing monitoring to bring back seniors every day, a daily increase of about 50 students. A remote learning option is still in effect for those who cannot physically return to school.
“We are thrilled, certainly, to have our senior class reunited for full, in-person instruction,” said Principal Sharon Lasher. “As their last year in the high school, we are making every effort to ensure that they make the most of this important time of their senior year as they apply to college, while being mindful of these challenging circumstances and adhering to all health and safety requirements.”
To mark the reunion, the senior class posed for a photo by a festive welcome-back sign sponsored by the Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA). Student Council President Katherine Pinnock said, “It is great to be back in the building and be able to see our teachers full time and be with our friends as much as possible because it is our last year. I’m super proud of our administration and our staff for being so open and welcoming; we are so appreciative and grateful.”
Senior Amelia Hahn, a Student Council publicity officer, added, “I think the first day went smoother than expected. It will take a little bit of adjusting, naturally, but I think we did really well, and it was really nice to be back in classes with all of our peers.”
As shared during the planning for students’ in-person learning, the District will continue to monitor and assess all aspects of operations with the goal of gradually bringing back more students in grades 9-11 who are currently learning in a hybrid model.
In addition to the senior class, 40 students districtwide will return to school for in-person instruction for the second quarter, beginning on November 9th. Families were given the option to change their child’s learning plan with the condition that they fully commit to their chosen plan for the entire second quarter, barring any extenuating circumstances.
“We have worked and continue to work diligently to bring our students back safely in accordance with all health and safety guidelines, and to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Laura Seinfeld. “We understand that returning to school at this time may not be ideal for every student and will keep our remote learning in place for them. However, we will continue to strive for as much ‘normalcy’ as possible under these very trying and difficult times so that we can best meet the needs of all students.”