Frequently Asked Questions Related to Reopening Dobbs Ferry High School


1.  What are the two plans for Dobbs Ferry High School?

  • All schools in New York State are required to have multiple plans. 100% fully remote instruction when/if schools are closed by the State of NY or local decisions related to infection rates and a hybrid plan that allows for a percentage of students to be in the buildings part time as a way to decrease density.


Fully Remote

  • Follow student and teacher regular 9-period day
  • Follow current “Wednesday” (condensed) Bell Schedule daily
    • 8:12am - 2:20pm
    • 38-minute periods (teachers 5 periods = 190 minutes live daily)
    • 3-minute breaks between periods (passing time)
    • Student lunch and Free Periods (Academic study) as scheduled
    • Teacher lunch, preparation and professional period as scheduled
    • 2:20pm - 3:20pm each day available for flexibility to meet with students individually and/or in small groups as necessary, collaborate with colleagues, plan instruction, and respond to parent inquiries
    • ENL/AIS/Related Services/Counseling services provided as scheduled



  • Monday-Tuesday/Thursday-Friday:
    • Core instruction will be delivered using the structure of remote learning as outlined in slide 13
    • Students can engage either off site or on site (by appointment)
    • Spacing throughout the high school building
    • Teachers teach from high school classrooms
    • Students have in-person access to the high school
    • Students may meet with teachers or counselors one-on-one or in small groups
    • Flex time from 2:20pm-3:20pm
    • Wednesday is a “flex” day for students. 



2.  What happens for students on a Wednesday “Flex” Day? 

  • Students have a choice to engage in learning experiences from home or in-person learning experiences at school.

  • Teachers are available during their regular five “teaching periods” to work with students in small groups for  in-person instruction:
    • Students receive in-person support using a “flipped” approach to teaching and learning. This allows students to receive the information through a digital platform and process it more deeply when they see their teachers.
    • A scheduler will be provided to ensure capacity
    • Opportunities for in-person fitness (PE), art, music, counseling 



3.  Why would a student choose to work “on site” during a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday?

  • Students can choose to work from school so that they can continue to work on their classes as well as access any of the following experiences during their school day:

    • Small group or individual extra help (“t-periods”)
    • Special Education and Related Services 
    • ENL Support
    • Mental Wellness and Support
    • Counseling and Support 
    • Music and Art experiences
    • Advisory (504 contact)
    • Speakers Series during lunch times
    • In-person experiences for “hands-on” electives, including science labs, research, yearbook, film, etc.
    • Co-Curricular Club Meetings 

4.  Why was this hybrid model chosen over one that includes cohorts and scheduled in-person learning? 

  • There would be major instructional and curricular tradeoffs that would come as a result of having a cohorted model at the high school level for the full semester (or year). These include:
    • A significant loss of teacher-student instructional time. 
    • Fewer “instructional minutes”
    • Curriculum and content would likely be diminished
    • More independent work. Students left to “teach themselves”


  • In-person teaching would be greatly diminished as compared to what teachers and students experienced pre-pandemic. Teaching strategies would be largely limited to teacher-centered lecture-based instruction. Students could not collaborate in groups, use manipulatives, and instruction would be largely computer-based even in an “in person” setting. 


  • Allows teachers to enhance their practice in a virtual setting by focusing and perfecting the most reliable and consistent methodology in this environment. 


  • A cohort “in person” model is not sustainable. The uncertainty of the pandemic leads to the likely scenario of jumping from one format to another. This would likely cause major disruption for students both academically and emotionally.

5. Will my child see his/her teacher?

  • Yes! All students will do an “in person” phase-in throughout the month of September. During that time, all students will meet their teachers, build relationships, and engage with in-person learning experiences. Students will also see their teachers daily via remote learning when their classes meet. On average, students will receive approximately 160 instructional minutes per week for each major class. In addition, students will physically see their teachers as needed for additional support as outlined above.

6. What about my child’s Social and Emotional needs? Counseling Services? 

  • Students will still have access to all of the services and resources available during regular school year. These services can be provided in person by appointment or virtually through a Google Meet. Mandated individual/group counseling will still take place during the school day. The school counselors will maintain Google Classroom pages to provide important announcements and information for students. Parents and students can reach the school counselors via email or phone. 
  • As a school we know how important a sense of community and being connected is for students and their families. With that in mind we have planned several ways to engage all students in the school community.

    • Some of these activities include:
      • 9th Grade Orientation
      • Co-curricular Clubs
      • DFHS Virtual Commons - Instagram
  • We will continue to assess our programs based on student feedback and plan accordingly. 

7.  What about  co-curricular activities?

  • Co-curricular clubs and activities will continue to meet regardless of the format that our school is in. If our school is 100% remote, students will engage with these activities virtually. If we are in a hybrid model, students will come to our school to engage with these activities in-person. 

8.  What will instruction at the High School look like?

  • Remote learning will be far more robust than it was this past spring. Our teachers have been working throughout the summer so that they can thoughtfully plan daily “live” instruction using a remote format. Areas that our teachers have focused on include: student engagement, instructional delivery, differentiation, student collaboration, and assessment.

9.  How many students can be accommodated at one time on campus?

  • We are currently assessing our campus to ascertain the maximum capacity that we can hold given the current guidelines from New York State. However, our goal is to ensure that all students can access in-person services whenever they need or want them. 


10. Will all teachers be on campus each day?

  • Not necessarily. Several of our teachers will not be able to return to in-person teaching as they qualify for accommodations based on either ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) or FMLA. (Family Medical Leave Act).