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ConVal plans increased in-person learning following new CDC guidelines on three-foot distancing

  • ConVal school bus in snow Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • A ConVal School District bus. (Benji Rosen/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Benji Rosen

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/19/2021 4:22:46 PM

High-schoolers may be on the verge of no longer alternating weeks in-person and remote at ConVal, as the high school is now sufficient for accommodating all students in person after updated CDC guidance confirmed that three feet of social distancing while wearing masks is acceptable. Updated guidance from the School District is forthcoming.

“If I were a parent in the district, I would be looking for something early next week,” Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders said at Friday night’s School Board meeting, referring to specific information about how the new guidelines will affect students in different schools. On Monday, Rizzo Saunders said she expected information would likely be sent out to parents by Wednesday. 

The previous guidance, six feet of social distancing, made it impossible to fit a full class inside a classroom. Three-foot social distancing does not return classroom sizes to exactly their pre-pandemic levels, but they’re much closer, Rizzo Saunders said.

The change ends planned remote periods for the District, Rizzo Saunders said. ConVal had already scaled back planned remote periods: in early March, the District released a new plan that dialed back the remote period to just a week following a two-week March recess, from the original three-week blanket remote period for all students. That was a change afforded by Executive Order 85, Rizzo Saunders said.

Remote learning still might be enacted in an emergency situation, such as a COVID-19-related disruption that affects a pod of students or a single school, Rizzo Saunders said.

There is no end date set for remote learning for the students who have opted to learn remotely full-time this year, Rizzo Saunders said. Some of those students have immunosuppressed family members or they themselves could be vulnerable to COVID-19, she said.

What does this mean for outdoor learning this spring, if schools don’t necessarily need the additional space they did in the fall? It might continue to be an option in some schools due to its popularity with students and parents alike, Rizzo Saunders said.


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