Director: Rebecca Marzeski
Secretary: Alesha Smith
Web Master:  Jean Kosina
220 Henry Street Herkimer, NY 13350
Phone: (315) 866-4831 Fax: (315) 866-9043
Email: stfranciseclc@gmail.com

Teaching and Learning

The school calendar typically includes one or more staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring delivering remote instruction under stressful circumstances, the school will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration.

These days will also be utilized for student orientation. This time will allow small groups of students to meet with their new teacher and begin to establish the relationship necessary for a successful school year.

As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels.

The school has developed a continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year for in-person, remote, and hybrid models of instruction.   

[http://stfrancisearlychildhood.org/parentinfocovid19/teachingandlearning.htm] link to hybrid and remote learning plans.

When a remote or hybrid learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, special education students, English language learners, students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020, and students with technology or connectivity needs. 

Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to assess student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice.  

Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.  

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content.

Parents will be required to assist the classroom teacher in turning in completed assignments at the designated times.

Parents/Guardians can text, call, e-mail, use class Dojo, the teacher or school with any instruction or technology concerns.

In-person Instruction 

Upon reopening, the number of students in each of our classrooms will be reduced to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart. 

Accommodating a six-foot radius around students will necessitate the identification of additional rooms and common-area spaces that can be converted into elementary classrooms.

 Our current staffing levels are sufficient to accommodate the expanded number of classrooms needed to ensure social distancing.

  • Two classrooms will be used to split our 3 year olds into two pods. 

  • Staffing in the pre-k 3 program will consist of a full time teacher, a full time aide, and a part time aide.

  • Two classrooms will be used to split our 4 year olds into two pods.

  • Staffing in the pre-k 4 program will consist of two full time teachers, a full time aide, and a part time aide.

  • Staffing in Kindergarten will consist of a full time teacher and a one-on-one aide.

  • Staffing in First grade will consist of a full time teacher.

All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

The school will minimize the movement of students. This potentially means having students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be pushed into the classroom.  Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity. 

To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students.

For information on school schedules, visit the School Schedules section [http://stfrancisearlychildhood.org/parentinfocovid19/religiousindependentschedules.html] of our reopening plan. 

  • We will have our students 5 days per week fromW 8:00 or 8:30 to 2:15 or 2:45 daily.

  • Classes will be conducted as normal except for PPE and social distancing.

  • The same children will remain in the same cohort or pod daily.

  • Students will be with their teachers all day.

For information about how in-person instruction information will be communicated to students and families, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section [http://stfrancisearlychildhood.org/parentinfocovid19/communicationfamily.html] of our reopening plan.

Remote/Hybrid Instruction 

Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, our school has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment.

To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will all be using Zoom and Facetime as our  online learning platforms. 

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. 

For information on school schedules, visit the School Schedules section [provide link] of our reopening plan.

See previous remote and hybrid plans. http://stfrancisearlychildhood.org/parentinfocovid19/teachingandlearning.html..

For information about how remote/hybrid instruction information will be communicated to students and families, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section [http://stfrancisearlychildhood.org/parentinfocovid19/teachingandlearning.html.] of our reopening plan.


Technology and Connectivity

Our  school will have knowledge of the level of access to devices and high-speed internet all students and teachers have in their places of residence and how the school will address the need to provide devices and internet access to students and teachers who currently do not have access.

All teachers will have a computer with a camera.

Our school will provide multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended models, especially if all students do not yet have sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet.

  • A survey will be given to parents to determine their technology needs.