ROCHESTER, N.Y. — At Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School, the hallways are clear and the classrooms are empty, but the teaching goes on.
Since mid-November, the school switched to fully remote as COVID-19 numbers rose.
"So right now our students are home, learning remotely. The teachers that need a space to teach have been invited to use the workspace here," said Dr. Sabrina Nudo, academic director.
Prior to the recent spike, they offered in-person learning and a virtual option for students who preferred it. In the classrooms, there were precautions put in place, but creative ways to engage students, such as reminders put on doors to show students how to greet one another safely.
"We immediately started teaching our students how they can greet each other in a safe way, while keeping the integrity of a school building, a school community, but being safe," Nudo said.
The school had to learn to be innovative as time went on, like having a socially distancing graduation. Sarai Riggins is a junior who decided to go remote this year. Although she misses being in the classroom, she says staff has done their part to ensure students don't fall behind.
"If you have a problem with a certain subject you can go to that teacher and you can talk about ‘hey, like I'm having a problem with math and I want to know if I can do this,'" said Riggins.
School officials say they've been doing their best to adjust to the new normal.
"It's trial and error. We work as a leadership team to look at data, to look at attendance, to look at engagement and we work together with our teaching teams," said Dr. Nudo.
Nudo says they plan to bring the students back to the classroom when it is safe.