K-5 to Return to Full In-Person School Next Week

by | Sep 29, 2020

Supt. Alexis Meyer told the School Committee Tuesday night the district would welcome back kindergarten through fifth grade students to full in-person school starting next Tuesday. 

The school district opened in a staggered approach two and a half weeks ago, with half of the elementary school students going to school at a time, and the rest following at home, as well as a much smaller percentage doing full distance learning. 

As of Tuesday, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected with EG public schools.

At the virtual meeting Tuesday, Meadowbrook Farms teacher Marcy Sullivan told the School Committee teachers were concerned about full in-person, noting the difficulty in teaching students in the classroom and at a distance simultaneously. She presented a letter signed by 40 staff members expressing concern. 

And she said, “We don’t have equity across the district regarding full assignment distance learning.” 

School Committee members Anne Musella and Alyson Powell in particular spoke to the need of the district to make sure teachers and students were fully supported. Specifically, Musella suggested “asynchronous Mondays” should be retained at the elementary level so teachers could serve the distance learners who, she feared, would get short shrift under a full in-person model. 

Middle and high school students will continue in the same model they are now practicing: home study (asynchronous) Mondays, two days in-person and two days distance. When asked how North Kingstown could do full in-person 6-8 learning, Meyer said North Kingstown had implemented stable-group classrooms for middle school which means the students stay in their classroom for the whole day. At Cole and EGHS, students change classrooms to attend classes in other subject areas.

The School Committee meets next on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Anne Musella

    To be clear, and as I stated after public comment, I was not advocating to keep elementary students out of school on Mondays. Rather, I questioned whether taking away Monday professional development and collaboration days from teachers would still allow teachers the support they need, given that the vast majority of elementary teachers will still be teaching in a hybrid mode, albeit with fewer distance learners.

    Reply
    • AKM Marcaccio

      This return to full 5 day schedule for k-5 has me concerned. I think it is too much exposure, especially for 4th and 5th graders. 4th and 5th graders have larger class sizes, so we’re talking about more than 20 kids in a room at a time for 6 hours/day. Research I’ve seen says that kids 10 and up transmit the virus at rates equal to adults and teens. This is exactly why we opted for distance learning for our 5th grader. I am now concerned that distance learners will be marginalized as teachers try to teach in person and do what they can for distance learners. With the hybrid model, I took comfort in knowing that half the class was distance learning along with my son each day. Not so anymore.

      Reply

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