TRSU schools to go remote during holidays Fierman cites travel, visitors, returning college students

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

With Covid 19 cases rising across the northeast and the prospect of families and school staff traveling or hosting family members from other areas over the holidays, Two Rivers Supervisory Union Superintendent Lauren Fierman has announced that the five schools that comprise TRSU will go to remote learning from Nov. 25, 2020 until Jan. 11, 2021.

Fierman explains that the holiday period could bring teacher shortages that may require remote learning at the Green Mountain board meeting on Oct. 15.

In an email sent to families on Sunday, Nov. 8, Fierman said that it was a decision she was hoping would not be necessary, but that it would not be possible to safely hold in-person instruction with the number of people who will be traveling into or from areas with a high prevalence of Covid-19.

According to Fierman, the schools — Green Mountain High and Cavendish Town, Chester-Andover, Mount Holly and Ludlow elementaries — have been conducting surveys to see how many staff members and families will be traveling or have visitors, including returning college students, during the season. They concluded that the numbers were high enough that if everyone quarantined, the numbers of staff members would not be enough to run the schools. And if parents observed the state’s guidelines after traveling, there would also be fewer students in school.

“If we could safely run schools during these coming weeks, we certainly would,” wrote Fierman. “It is the unfortunate situation that the safest place for our students to receive instruction from November 25 until January 11 will be at home.”

And unless those teachers and paraprofessionals who will need to quarantine after Thanksgiving or Christmas are actually ill, they will be working on remote learning.

At the TRSU board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 5, Fierman said the schools’ nurses also recommended going remote.

The email to families noted that the After School Program is exploring providing some childcare support for parents and information about this will be released as soon as plans can be put together.

Fierman will hold an open forum zoom meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

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