An Inside Look Into The School Reopening Proccess

Enrollment trends. On-site response to issues. Talking during lunch. Air quality and buses.

 These were among the bullet points in the school reopening update Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad shared with the School Committee Monday evening.


Answering a question from Committee Chair Dan Brosgol, the superintendent noted that more students are continuing to opt back into returning for in-person on September 17 or 18, estimating that the ratio of hybrid to completely virtual students is now closer to 85 to 15, up from 80 to 20.


School Committee member Ann Guay asked about the status of the special accommodations group called Cohort C, which comprises students attending school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Conrad said that the size of cohort C has remained stable.


Responding to Guay’s follow-up question, Conrad said there is no designated person in the schools to address issues raised by parents. He encouraged parents to communicate with the educator or administrator that is most closely affiliated with the source of the problem.


Committee member Brad Morrison asked what the schools will do in the first few days to ease the transition.


Assistant Superintendent Tricia Clifford reiterated the importance for families to communicate their needs to the schools. She said K-5 students needing technical help should reach out to Matt Haynes, an instructional technology specialist at Lane and Davis Schools.


Students in Grades 6-8 needing technical help should reach out to Kim Comeiro, an instructional coach at John Glenn Middle School. Students in Grades 9-12 should reach out to Donna Clements, Director of Technology and Library Media at the high school.


Conrad discussed the district’s work with building administrators on air quality and transportation logistics. He noted bus logistics are different than in past years, adding that that bus schedules and seat assignments were released to all students on Aspen.


Curious about the adherence to the Commonwealth’s gathering policies, Brosgol asked if there were specific constraints to having school lunches in large areas where social distancing would be possible. Conrad explained that the state education department has produced separate guidance that only mandates six feet of separation between students.


Brosgol also sought clarification about whether high school students would be allowed to talk during lunch; Conrad assured him that such was not a district policy nor a building policy.


Morrison also asked for guidance around the district policy for recording classes. Conrad noted that since students are expected to attend class, the district does not expect students, nor teachers, to record their classes.

Conrad praised the parent and caregiver meetings that the building principals and administration hold to provide information for the upcoming year. While such meetings have been communicated to parents and caregivers already, building meeting times can be found here.

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