ROCHESTER - Rochester Schools Supt. Kyle Repucci today announced that inschool learning will continue for all students wishing to do so.
Repucci also let students, parents and guardians know what they can expect with the upcoming holidays - especially holiday travel - and how that would impact students' participation in inschool instructions.
The statement comes a day after the school board voted to continue with full-time, in-person learning for the next 24 days. Remote learning, however, will remain available for families who opted to follow that model.
This vote was made based on the guidance in the plan that it be reevaluated every 30 days by the school board.
"Our students and staff have shown great resilience since the start of the school year, quickly adopting the measures that we put in place to help protect the health and safety of everyone in the buildings," Repucci said. "Based on the information from local and state public health officials, the risk of community spread continues to remain low in Rochester. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will make any necessary changes should that risk change."
Since the start of the school year, Repucci pointed out that there have been only two individuals - one at Spaulding High and one at William Allen - who have tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, there are only two active cases in Rochester, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.
School officials are now reviewing a variety of options for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season that accounts for a continuity of learning for those who may need to quarantine if families travel or have members visit during that time.
Based on the current reopening plan, families are asked to quarantine for 14 days after traveling out of an abundance of caution, and students are provided remote learning opportunities during this time. This would mean that students who travel for Thanksgiving would need to quarantine until Dec. 14 and would only have a week of in-person learning before leaving again for Christmas break, Repucci noted. Should they travel during Christmas, students would need to participate in remote learning once again.
Rather than have students switch between remote and in-person learning during the holidays, one option that the district is exploring is having all students participate in remote learning during this time. There will be an opportunity for some students to attend remote instruction or services at a school if needed.
The district knows this model may present issues for some families and are actively seeking out community partners to provide childcare options for these individuals during this time as well, Repucci noted.
This idea will also be discussed at the School Board Meeting on Oct. 29, along with a more-detailed description of the holiday model. The school board may also make changes to the proposal and vote on it.
Community members are invited to attend the 7 p.m. meeting in-person at the Rochester Community Center, 150 Wakefield St., however space is limited and may require people to view the meeting from the hallway. All in-person attendees will be required to wear a face mask or covering, and to practice social distancing.
The meeting can also be streamed live with viewing options posted on the City of Rochester's website prior to the meeting.