Jamaica Village School reopens for in-school learning

JAMAICA, Vt.  – After a delay to the start of “in-school” learning at Jamaica Village School due to the assessment of air systems within the school building, the students returned to school Oct. 5 after having strictly conducted “remote learning” from students’ homes since Sept. 8.

Jamaica Village School reopened for in-school learning Oct. 5.
Jamaica Village School reopened for in-school learning Oct. 5. Photo provided

Per the recommendation of the Windham Central Supervisory Union, the West River Education District Board chose to delay the opening of the school for in-person learning until the air systems were tested and confirmed to be safe for students and staff.

“We were made aware of the situation in late August, in consultation with the Director of Facilities and the Superintendent of Schools, and the decision to delay the opening of school was made by the West River Education District School Board of Directors,” Pamela Bernardo said. Bernardo is the principal of the Jamaica Village School.

After the testing, it was determined that the maintenance needed was minimal to meet the standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Other area schools were also being tested to ensure the standards were being met.

Moving forward, the Jamaica Village School will be instituting a hybrid plan for students, with options for both in-person and remote learning from home. The teachers have been mostly conducting their remote classes from their classrooms in the school, giving students the opportunity to view their classrooms while learning remotely.

As in-school learning begins, students will have their temperatures taken before entering the school, cleaning will happen each day during and after the students leave the building, and each Wednesday, only remote learning will take place so the building can be deep cleaned.

“The families, staff, and students of our school have all been wonderfully cooperative and patient as we navigate this most unusual and concerning situation,” Bernardo concluded. “We look forward to welcoming our learners back on-site and will continue to support those children for which families have decided to continue their learning remotely.”

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