TRSU superintendent revises plan for reopening schools

LUDLOW, Vt. – Two Rivers Supervisory Union Superintendent Lauren Fierman has issued new guidelines for reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year based on feedback received from parents through surveys and a recent online meeting. The letter was sent out to the TRSU community Monday, July 27 outlining the details.

TRSU outlines plan for bringing students back for in-person learning in the fall. Stock photo

All five TRSU schools will open four days a week for in-person instruction of all students – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesdays will be a remote learning day, which will look different depending on school and grade level. The schools will run early release schedules for the first couple of weeks on in-school days.

There will be a fully remote learning option for interested families. Students selecting this option would have to commit to it for at least the first semester and will not be allowed to alternate between the two options.

All students and staff will be required to wear facial coverings whenever they are indoors. When outdoors, face coverings can be removed as long as at least 6 feet social distancing is maintained.

Based on the examination of available space and expected student numbers, students will be seated six feet apart, maintaining the recommended appropriate social distancing.

All students and staff will be required to have a health screening, including a temperature check and answering of health-related questions, prior to entering the building each day. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above will not be allowed to remain at school.

Administrators will aim to have students outdoors as often as possible and for as long as the weather permits. Students will remain with their class to whatever extent is possible.

TRSU schools include Cavendish Town Elementary School, Chester-Andover Elementary School, Ludlow Elementary School, Mount Holly Elementary School, and Green Mountain Union Middle School and High School.

According to the letter, this revised plan was based on requirements and recommendations from the “Strong and Healthy Start” document from the Vermont Agency of Education and the Department of Health, as well as concerns communicated from school families and staff. Fierman also noted that these proposals are fluid and that their plans may continue to evolve as they receive new information from the TRSU community, the AOE, and the VDH.

The TRSU will be issuing detailed guidelines to parents in early August to explain “how the state level guidance will be implemented in our schools.”

Fierman continues to meet weekly with administrative counsel, consult with state guidelines, and hold additional virtual meetings with parents to discuss concerns. The next remote meeting with parents and staff was scheduled for Wednesday, July 29 at 6 p.m.

The next TRSU board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.

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