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Mason proposes hybrid model for back to school plan

  • Mason Elementary School Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/22/2020 4:11:58 PM

Mason Elementary School students are set to return to school with a hybrid model in the fall.

Principal and district Superintendent Kristen Kivela said in an interview Tuesday that the district is approaching the return to school with an “educational choice” model.

Half of the Mason Elementary School’s 85 students will receive in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday and the other half on Thursday and Friday, with online instruction the rest of the week. However, for parents who aren’t willing to have their students return in-person at all, an all-online model is available to them, Kivela said.

In a survey sent out to district families, parents of 37 students indicated willingness to return to an all in-person model, parents of 23 students preferred a hybrid model, and seven requested fully online, with 15 not responding.

Kivela said the current plan is to combine each class into two grade levels, with kindergarten and first grade together, second and third grade together and fourth and fifth grade together. With half of each grade attending physically at a time, there will still be enough space for social distancing. The grade teacher not physically in the classroom with students will be leading online instruction in real time.

“The idea is that all kids will be getting the same lesson and the same amount of instruction time,” Kivela said.

Kivela said there were no reported issues in the spring of families who were unable to connect to online instruction, but accommodations can be discussed for students with technology issues.

While students are in the school, they will be required to wear masks while transitioning between class spaces, or when they must be in close proximity, but can remove them when they are able to socially distance, such as in the classroom, Kivela said.

The district is still working with its transportation company to discuss transportation guidelines, but taking into account the decrease in daily students that need to be transported, as well as the amount of parents willing to drive their students to and from school each day, Kivela said the district isn’t currently planning to need additional bus routes.

Students will attend classes such as physical education, art and music while in the building, though the district has not yet discussed how these classes will be addressed for students who decide to only attend classes remotely.

Currently, the district has discussed committing to the hybrid model for the first trimester, and will reevaluate in October.

Mason middle and high school students attend the Milford Middle School and Milford High School. The Milford School Board is scheduled to meet next on Aug. 3.


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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