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.


Building cleanliness is a priority. All staff must ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH. Regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms will be done throughout each day. In the event an individual is confirmed to have COVID-19, cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas will take place as outlined in the containment plan.


The following measures will be taken to ensure that all members of the Pathways community will remain safe:

Staff will be required to self-screen and report this daily.

Parents/guardians will be required to self-screen their students and to report this daily. Students with a temperature of 100.0⁰ or higher must be kept home. Also students who have been exposed to anyone suspected of having COVID-19 must be kept home. Parents must call into the school nurse and report this absence.

Healthy hygiene practices will be taught and re-taught in school settings for both students and staff.

All students will be required to maintain a minimum of 6-foot distancing while in school. This distance will be increased to 12 feet if students are singing, playing a wind instrument or participating in an aerobic activity.

As much as possible the school schedule is built around “cohorts”. This means that students spend the large majority of their day in small groups taking the same classes. The number of people a student will come into contact with will be minimized. Movement of students, educators and staff will be minimized as much as possible.


Our contact tracing, screening and reporting practices have been developed in cooperation with Department of Health officials.

In the event that we encounter any suspected COVID-19 cases we will contact the Herkimer County Department of Public Health and take any steps that are requested. HFHO BOCES will ensure compliance with the New York State Contact Tracing Program

We will be able to use student schedules, class lists, seating charts and bathroom logs to support public health officials in contact tracing.

Confidentiality will be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. Staff will not to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact as this is the responsibility of the local health department.

Our anticipated steps when a potential case is identified through our screening process:

Isolate and send home the individual (student or adult) immediately along with anyone in the district that resides with that person.

Inform members of that individual household that everyone in their residence should seek medical attention

Communicate with the individual that they should inform the school of any COVID-19 Test Result (positive or negative) and quarantining instructions as soon as they receive them

Once informed by Public Health of a confirmed case, district will provide appropriate rosters and demographic information to expedite Contact Tracing.


Students/Staff may return to school/work when the following conditions are met:

Provides a note from a medical provider with alternative diagnosis AND negative COVID-19 test,

It has been 10 days from onset of symptoms AND 3 days symptom and fever free.

Contacts to positive case can return to school after 14-day quarantine period as long as they are asymptomatic.

School Structure

Three different plans have been developed to address the different circumstances we may encounter this school year.

1. In-person Instruction – Our plan for all students attending school

2. Hybrid Instruction – Our plan for when school is open but some students cannot attend

3. Remote Instruction – Our plan for when school is closed but instruction continues


The staff and administration at Pathways believes that students have the best outcomes when they can work in-person for their education. We are fortunate to have the resources and infrastructure to support in-person instruction. The Pathways Academy is planning a 100% opening.

All students will attend school five day per week for an 8:30 – 2:15 school day.

This is based on the criteria for safety set by the state which hinges on the regional infection rate and the ability to adhere to Department of Health guidelines.

Our class sizes make it possible to set up socially distant classrooms.

Our cohorting plan allows students to stay in classrooms for all classes except Physical Education and Trade and Service electives. Lunches will be delivered to classrooms.

Any changes in guidance from New York state will force us to reconsider our plan.


Student Enrolled in Both CTE and Pathways will have different schedules to follow.



Monday, Tuesday – Attend CTE Program at WEB Complex Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – Attend Pathways for Academics

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – Attend Pathways for Academics Thursday, Friday – Attend CTE Program at WEB Complex

Students will be able to make up work at Pathways

Home district Transportation Departments are aware of the schedule and will provide bussing.


Our plan will have the greatest success when students, parents and staff work together in supporting the safety protocols outlined below. To optimize cooperation, we will rely on the strategies we always have, well-communicated expectations, positive interventions and a hierarchy of consequences.

All students must wear acceptable face coverings at all times; excluding students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering. Please no bandanas or inappropriate messages on face covering.

If your son or daughter is medically unable to wear a mask, please provide a doctor’s note.

Mask breaks will be provided but students will need to wait until they have permission from an adult to remove their mask. Students should expect to wear a mask most of the day.

Student temperatures will be checked as students are getting off the bus. Students that have a high temperature (100⁰ or higher) will be sent home along with any household residents.

Students will follow our normal safety protocols including metal detection, bag inspection.

Staff will be trained to observe for symptoms. Students displaying any symptoms will immediately be asked to report to the Health Office. The nurse will make a determination regarding whether the student should be sent home.

A room has been set aside for students who are showing symptoms and cannot be in class. Students will be able to wait safely for transportation if needed.


We will run into circumstances where school is open but some students are not in attendance for COVID and Non-COVID related illnesses.

When a student is not able to come to school they are responsible for material covered in class.

Students will be able to take part in lesson over the internet, with Google Classroom, Nearpod and Zoom.

All instructional materials will be available through Google Classroom.

Students will follow their nine period class schedule. Students will be able to take part in the lessons through a “Zoom Meeting”. They will be able to ask questions and take part from home. The lessons will be recorded so students can review at their own pace.

Nearpod allows teachers to create virtual lessons that are interactive and engaging for students.

Teachers will take attendance for each period as usual and absences will be followed up with parent contact.


We will use remote instruction when we are forced to close school. This year when school closes instruction will continue. We will have classes every day except when the school calendar says we have a day off.

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 modelwillallowstudentstobeactivelyengagedinclasseseveryday.Attendancewill be taken for each class and students are expected to attend all classes.


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

Remote Instruction 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.


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.

Students that need devices for remote instruction will be provided a chromebook by the Herkimer BOCES. Parents will be asked to sign an Acceptable Use Agreement as well provide assurance the device will be returned. We will work with families and their home district for those that do not have access to reliable internet. In the case of Special Needs students or students unable to access the Internet, paper copies of all work will be provided by the district.

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.


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.

The level, rigor and quality of work we will expect from our students will be greater than that expected at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. The previous model focused mainly on participation and effort.

Posting Guidelines and Instructional Support

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 GoogleMeet or Zoom.Additionalinstructionalsupportwillbeprovidedforstudentsthatarestrugglingor non-participatory. During in-person, remote, and hybrid models, student attendance will be taken daily.

Inhybridandremoteinstructionmodels,allteacherswillbeavailableduringscheduledclasstime online and will provide daily and timely feedback to theirstudents.

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

Food Service

Our meals will be offered free of charge again this year. We also are encouraging families to complete a school lunch application so that we are able to continue to provide free meals going forward.

Meals will be consumed in the classroom. Staff will either pick up or have meals delivered to the classroom each day. The classroom will already be set up to ensure social distancing for classroom instruction. The same rules will apply for their lunch consumption.


With in-person, remote, and hybrid learning models, teachers will need to collaborate to effectively support our student body as a whole.

At the time this plan is created, all Regents exams and Technical assessments are still scheduled to occur. We need to teach our students and hold them accountable to the standards associated with each individual course to best prepare them for success on these high level end-of-year state assessments.


Special Education teachers should continue to support their students based on their assigned caseloads. Special Education teachers will continue to collaborate with general education and academic area teachers to ensure equitable access to instruction.

For in-person models, Resource Rooms will continue to provide student support in accordance with student IEP and schedule.

To the extent possible, Special Education teachers will continue to support the Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each student.

Daily check-ins will take place with all Special Education students on their caseload. All student and parent contacts during remote or hybrid learning must be documented as prescribed by administration.

School Counselors

Counselors will focus on social emotional learning and academic progress of students. They will make themselves available to all students and will continue to meet the needs of the IEPs of the students on their caseloads. Teachers will contact counselors if a student needs social emotional support, and the counselors will follow-up as necessary. The counselors will also continue to work very closely with administration to plan for the 2020-2021 school year. 


Aides and Assistants will help in the preparation of materials, copying, supervision and other duties assigned or requested by administration and the teachers they work with.

Aides and Assistants will also play a significant role in assisting the main office with classroom coverage during times of staff illness quarantine, and lunch supervision.


Clerical staff will continue to fulfill the duties of their contractual positions.

Clerical staff will work closely with and in direct communication with the Herkimer BOCES administration.


We recognize that with in-person, hybrid and remote models, opportunities for student-teacher interaction are an important part of the teaching and learning process. We also recognize the complexity of a virtual environment. All educators will be available according to their period schedule and through scheduled office hours. Acceptable platforms for instruction and interaction include Google Classrooms, Zoom, Google Hangouts or Meets, phone calls, emails, discussion boards, etc.

With in-person, hybrid and remote models we will continue to do our best to provide meaningful learning opportunities to our students while being flexible to individual and family needs during this process.