Grades 3 -12 will be on staggered schedule
By Vicki Greene, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Marlborough Public Schools students in Grades 3 – 12 were scheduled to return to a hybrid learning model on Feb. 1. However, at its Jan. 26 meeting, the committee voted to move that date to Feb. 22.
The phased return schedule outlined by Superintendent Michael Bergeron is as follows: Feb. 22, students in Cohort B Grades 3, 8 and 12 return to school; the week of March 1 students in Cohort A Grades 3,4,7,8,9 and 12 return to school; on March 8, all Cohort B students in all grades will be in school; and March 15, all Cohort A students in all grades, will be in school for the week.
Bergeron was clear that one Cohort will only have one additional day of in-classroom learning so the plan was developed to insure it was as equitable as possible. In addition, he explained that this will allow classroom sizes to remain safe and small within CDC COVID-19 guidelines.
Students in Pre-K through Grade 2, special education programs and EL 1 & 2 will continue in-school learning.
How the phased-in schedule was developed
Bergeron asked school principals to make recommendations based on their individual school metrics. High School Principal Daniel Riley wanted to bring back seniors and freshmen in the first phase, according to Bergeron, because seniors have essentially been on a remote schedule since last spring. Riley also felt it was important to bring freshmen back given they are entering a new school and it is an important transition. Whitcomb Principal Brian Daniels recommended bringing 8th grade students back because there have been attendance issues with remote learners.
Buses, PPE, and food service plans
The district is stocked with PPE and Director of Finance and Operations Douglas Dias told the Committee that they “have established processes to quickly distribute PPE to schools when they need replenishment.”
Dias also explained that that the bus company is ready and “successfully retained drivers to support the four-tier program.” Food service is also prepared to alter serving models, sending meals and snacks home to remote students and keeping physically-distanced meals in school cafeterias. The district has delivered 325,000 meals to remote learnings using school buses.
Positive case data as of Jan. 25
Cases are trending down week over week according to Bergeron. As of Jan. 25, there were 42 positive COVID-19 cases in the district and nine classes are quarantined.
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