Breaking News: Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade Students will be Returning to Lane School as soon as March 15

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Third, fourth, and fifth-grade students will be returning to Lane School as soon as March 15, as voted by the School Committee late Tuesday night.

The plan, which retains the full remote option but drops hybrid, is based on converting the art room, library, and computer room to classrooms and doubling up three pairs of adjoining rooms so they can be managed through connecting doors.

Reopening will require six new teachers and three educational assistants. The School Committee approved spending up to $136,000 to cover the salaries for three months.

Lane School Principal Rob Ackerman, who presented a detailed explanation, said about 80 students will have to be relocated from current classrooms to make the new configuration work.

Tuesday’s vote came several hours after the state education commissioner announced that the administration wants all schools to reopen for the elementary grades by April. But that was a coincidence — the Lane plan has been in the works for several weeks. And first and second graders are already scheduled to return in March.

Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad and committee members acknowledged that they still need to address ways to bring more students in grades 6-12 back to their buildings.

The meeting included more than 90 minutes of comments from the public. Most of the 31 speakers advocated the imperative of bringing students back to the classroom, with several highlighting the mental health implications.

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at mike@thebedfordcitizen.org, or 781-983-1763


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