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Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Schools to Start Back with Hybrid Model

Aug 27, 2020 11:35AM ● By Hopedale Schools

Thanks to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Hopedale schools are opening a little bit later this year and will look a little bit different.

Like every other school districts in the state, big changes had to happen to allow the 20 20–2021 school year begin.

After much deliberation, the decision was made to start back with a hybrid model in Hopedale. This means three phases.

Phase I is for teachers and staff, and runs August 31 through September 16.

Phase II is for the students. They start back September 16 at this phase will run until October 16.

Phase III will see the advisory board reviewing data, making adjustments, and making recommendations for moving forward.

The later start date comes after Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley change the requirement of 180 days of school to 170 days of school to allow for staff training.

The guidance, dated July 27, said, “Our educators and staff are essential to our preparations for a safe and successful fall school reopening. Following collaborative discussions with the teachers’ unions, I am announcing today that school districts will have 10 additional days at the start of the 2020-2021 school year to prepare for the reopening of schools. ... DESE and the unions have a shared commitment to the safety and well-being of students, families, and staff; they are collaborating to support a successful start to the school year; and they recognize the need to provide additional time for educators and staff to prepare for the start of instruction.”

The staff preparation period will include professional development, preparation for hybrid models of teaching, and more training on remote teaching. A final learning plan will be determined, as well as reviewingcleaning protocol and a review of food services protocol.

When the students return, they will attend school in person Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays, depending on last name. Wednesdays are reserved for remote learning so that schools can be cleaned between cohorts. Keep in mind, any student may select to do fully remote if they are more comfortable with that plan.

Unlike the spring, students will be graded on their work, and will be expected to attend classes whether they are in person or remote. 

All staff and students who attend in-person classes, are required to wear face coverings. There will be exceptions made for those who cannot wear them due to medical issues.

Data collected in Phase III will include numbers of staff and students who return to school, attendance rates, adherence to mask-wearing protocols, social distancing ability, and assessment of cleaning protocols, among others.

Depending on the data assessment in Phase III, a determination will be made to remain hybrid, go fully remote, or go fully in person.