Based on guidance from the New York State Department of Health, the Herkimer County Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Education Department, a 100% in person opening can be executed at the Pathways Academy. The Pathways program is based on small cohort-based class settings. With a few adjustments to building protocols the Herkimer BOCES is confident that student and staff safety can be maximized. This plan is subject to change and dependent on the approval of the NYS Education Department and the NYS Governor.

We must realize that home district transportation, cleaning processes and space availability will be guiding factors in allowing this model to work. We must plan for the in-person model, but also be fully prepared to be a 100% remote learning model to start the school year.



Remote learning is an online teaching and learning experience. Ideally students will engage with their teachers online through Google Classroom for live lessons. Lessons and supporting materials will be available at any time so students can learn even when they are not able to be part of the live lesson.

Given the unique challenges that remote learning can offer, planning must be approached carefully. Teachers need to be familiar with not just the strengths of online and face-to-face teaching in their own rights, but also with how they can merge over a longer term.

With the remote learning model, students will follow a modified bell schedule and report to their assigned classes for face-to-face virtual instruction via Zoom. Students are expected to follow this schedule similar to if we were meeting in person. This model will allow students to be actively engaged in classes every day. Attendance will be taken for each class and students are expected to attend all classes.

Pathways Academy Remote Learning Schedule

A Day

8:30 - 8:45

8:45 - 9:30

9:45 - 10:30

10:45 - 11:30

11:45 - 12:30

12:45 - 1:30

12:15 - 2:15

B Day

Pathways Wake Up

Period 1

Period 2

Period 3

Period 4

Middle School Art High School Individualized work and support/ Counseling/Credit Recovery

MS/HS Individualized work and support/ Counseling/Credit Recovery

Pathways Wake Up

Period 5/6

Period 7

Period 8

Period 9

Middle School FACS High School Individualized work and support/ Counseling/Credit Recovery

Scheduling Notes:

  • Attendance for all classes is required and attendance will be recorded.

  • As we do for normal face to face instruction each day will be labeled as either an A day or a B day. Depending on the label students will follow that day’s schedule.

  • In the Spring of 2020 we found it beneficial to allow for time in the schedule for students to work one on one with their teachers. There is time built in to the schedule that allows for that to happen.

  • The “Pathways Wake Up” will become our morning ritual for our community. Students will be given a chance to have a few moments to hear announcements, prepare their minds for the day ahead, engage with some movement and get their Physical Education Challenge of the Day. Students will receive PE credit for attending the class and taking part in the physical challenge.

Access to Instruction in Remote Learning

Students will access instruction through Google Classroom. When students log into Google Classroom they will be provided with instructional material such as videos, subject specific reading and writing prompts. They will also be able to submit their work on Google Classroom. Students will follow their schedule joining Zoom meetings set up by their teachers. These meetings will provide virtual instruction and access to their teacher in a live interaction. Students will be able to ask questions and interact similar to the way they do in school. Teachers will be able to record their lessons in case a student is absent or needs a chance to review the material.

We are aware that some of our students will not be able to take full advantage of this platform due to a lack of appropriate devices or internet connectivity. Herkimer BOCES will provide devices whenever necessary. Paper copies of instructional material will also be provided to those who do not have internet access. Those students will also be supported with phone lessons and conferences. Students will be able to either submit photos of their work or drop it off at the Pathways building in Ilion.

Interaction, Collaboration and Feedback

Interaction, collaboration and feedback are critical elements of any rich educational experience. While virtual instruction creates an obstacle, we are committed to insuring each student has every opportunity enjoy these benefits.

First, lessons on Zoom will allow for face to face conversation among students, teachers and teaching assistants. Zoom also makes it possible for teachers to set up small groups within a class group. This is useful if a student is working at a different pace or needs a different kind of attention.

In addition to period by period lessons teachers and teaching assistants will be reaching out to students to check on progress and offer support at the end of the day. Teachers will rely on Zoom meetings, phone and email to accomplish this. We learned in the Spring of 2020 that this kind of individual attention is very productive.

Finally, the staff at Pathways takes very seriously the individual needs of their students. Families can be assured that all teachers of students with special needs will document daily contact on individual student contact logs, IEP goals will be supported and tracked and related services will be provided in accordance with the IEP.

Student and Family Support

One of the most important lessons from last spring is how important it is to work with families in supporting students at this time. Here are some of the strategies we plan to use to keep everyone informed and support positive outcomes for students.

We are planning Family Meetings on September 2 and September 3. The meetings will be held in our building and they will be scheduled in a way that takes social distancing and overall safety into account. These meetings are being held so that families can have familiarity and confidence in how student safety is being accounted for. We also will demonstrate some of the technology in use so that parents can support as much as possible if we need to use remote learning.

Parents will be invited to enroll in the Pathways Principal Google Classroom. This Google Classroom will allow me to reach out to parents easily with building announcements and parents will easily be able to message with me. Additionally, parents will be able to become a little bit more familiar with an important technology for the students.

As soon as students return to school Pathways staff will focus on teaching students how to use Google Classroom, Zoom and any other technology they will need to be successful in remote learning.

Pathways staff will continue to check in frequently to make sure families have all the information they need during remote learning.


Grading is based on teacher discretion. However, grading will clearly align with the learning outcomes of each course, as well as the NYS and Next Generation Learning Standards. All regents’ level courses and CTE courses need to prepare students for the appropriate end-of-course assessments. 

Students will be graded using the traditional 0-100 scoring scale. The level, rigor and quality of work we will expect from our students will be of a higher demand than the grading model used when the forced school closure occurred at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. The previous model focused mainly on participation and effort. As we move forward with our continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year, the focus will be on mastering the priority standards and demonstrating a solid understanding of the learning outcomes set forth for each course.

While participation and effort will still be required to be successful, teachers will focus heavily on providing meaningful feedback and focusing on individual student progress and learning. Mastery is hard to accomplish in isolation and student / teacher interactions will help guide all learners through this process.


With in-person, remote, and hybrid models, a weekly agenda outlining lessons and activities will be posted to students within your learning platform. This will assist in keeping the students organized and current. Teachers are expected to support the education of all students.

In-person, remote, and hybrid models will follow the instructional days of the school calendar. Adjustments to the school calendar will be made at the discretion of the District Superintendent to ensure mandated minutes of instruction and daily requirements are met.

When students are not physically in class, students are expected to participate virtually through Google Meet or Zoom. Additional instructional support will be provided for students that are struggling or non-participatory. During in-person, remote, and hybrid models, student attendance will be taken daily.

In hybrid and remote instruction models, all teachers will be available during scheduled class time online and will provide daily and timely feedback to their students.

The building principal will continue to support the appropriate involvement of the component districts.