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Vermont students head back to school Tuesday

WNYT Staff
Created: September 08, 2020 10:47 AM

For the first time since mid-March, Vermont students will head back to the classroom for in-person learning Tuesday, and things will look a little different this year.

Tuesday is a later start day than normal for schoolchildren in Vermont. The state decided to push back the date to give school districts more time to get safety plans in place. They say last week was almost a dry run for them to make sure everything was working and in place.

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There will also be new safety measures in place in schools. These include wearing masks, improving ventilation systems in schools, and strict cleaning protocols.

When it comes to social distancing, kids in pre-k through fifth grade could be spaced three feet apart, instead of the six feet initially recommended. That change was made in August.

Many districts in Vermont have adopted a hybrid model of learning. The structure will have students alternating days that they attend class in-person and online with the goal of reducing crowds and allowing social distancing inside buildings.

Children grades pre-k through 5 are encouraged to do full in-person learning.

One mother, who is sending three children back to school Tuesday, is concerned about the change in scheduling.  

“My oldest is the one having the hardest time. He’s not going to be able to see all of his friends because of the different days,” Katy LaFrance said.

What will happen if there is a coronavirus case in a school? The state says the decision to close schools or certain classrooms for in-person instruction will be made by the local superintendent or head of school after consulting with the Department of Health. It will be made on a case-by-case basis.

To hear more about the reopening, click on Emily De Vito’s report.


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