Many Hudson Valley children will be going back to school four days a week starting Monday.

Parents of students in the Wappingers Central School District received word last month that their children would have the option to return to classes four days a week. Most schools in the district have been operating on a hybrid schedule, with students appearing in class two days a week and learning remotely for three days.

Local health officials have informed the Wappingers Central School District that they are currently in the “moderate” risk category. The designation allows classrooms to transition from a “6 foot by 3 foot” social distancing protocol instead of the current "6 foot by 6 foot" protocol.  This means that each classroom will be able to safely welcome back more students.

Parents were sent surveys allowing them to decide whether they wanted their children to return to school four days a week, or to continue learning on their current schedules. On Monday parents began to hear back about their requests and if their children would, in fact, be able to return to the classroom on a more consistent basis.

In order to comply with the new health regulations, the district has ordered see-through polycarbonate desktop dividers. The dividers are expected to begin arriving this week, allowing schools to accommodate approximately 80% of the requests for 4 days per week attendance at the K-6 grade level beginning on March 8. Almost all of the requests to return will be honored for secondary school students.

As far as transportation goes, with more children on the bus, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health has instructed the district to "do their best" when it comes to social distancing during their rides to and from school. Children will be spaced out on busses as much as possible, but the district warns that it may be unavoidable to have two children sitting on the same seat. Parents can opt to drive their children to school instead.

While parents and teachers are excited to bring more children back into the classroom, the WSCD warns that if local health officials increase the risk category from “Moderate” to “Severe” they may be forced to revisit this protocol.

CDC Guide to Masks