Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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School Department shares update on fall reopening plan

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Superintendent Kyle Repucci wishes to share an update to the reopening plan for the 2020-21 academic year and information about the initial discussions of how it may change during the upcoming holiday season.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, the School Board voted to continue with full-time, in-person learning for the next 24 days. Remote learning will remain available for families who opted to have their students follow that model.

This vote was made based on the guidance in the plan that it be reevaluated every 30 days by the School Board. To view the complete plan, click here.

“Our students and staff have shown great resilience since the start of the school year, quickly adopting the measures that we put in place to help protect the health and safety of everyone in the buildings,” Superintendent Repucci said. “Based on the information from local and state public health officials, the risk of community spread continues to remain low in Rochester. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will make any necessary changes should that risk change.”

Since the start of the school year, there have been two individuals — one at Spaulding High School and one at William Allen School — who have tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, there are only two active cases in Rochester, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

School officials are now reviewing a variety of options for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season that accounts for continuity of learning for those who may need to quarantine if families travel or have members visit during that time.

Based on the current reopening plan, families are asked to quarantine for 14 days after traveling out of an abundance of caution and students are provided remote learning opportunities during this time. This would mean that students who travel for Thanksgiving would need to quarantine until Monday, Dec. 14 and would only have a week of in-person learning before leaving again for Christmas break. Should they travel during Christmas, students would need to participate in remote learning once again.

Rather than have students switch between remote and in-person learning during the holidays, one option that the district is exploring is having all students participate in remote learning during this time. There will be an opportunity for some students to attend remote instruction or services at a school if needed.

The district knows this model may present issues for some families and are actively seeking out community partners to provide childcare options for these individuals during this time as well. This will also be discussed at the School Board Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 29.

A more detailed description of this model will be presented at the School Board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. At that time, the Board will ask questions and make any changes to the proposal and may vote to approve the model.

Community members are invited to attend the meeting in-person at the Rochester Community Center, 150 Wakefield St., however, space is limited and may require people to view the meeting from the hallway. All in-person attendees will be required to wear a face mask or covering, and to practice social distancing.

The meeting can also be streamed live. Viewing options will be posted on the City of Rochester’s website prior to the meeting.

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