Seekonk High School Seniors May Return To Class Full Time
The seniors at Seekonk High School might be returning to in-person instruction sometime later in the school year, although Superintendent Rich Drolet explained a specific date would not be announced until sometime in March. There had been some complaints after the January 26 school committee meeting when Drolet had announced Grade 9 students at Seekonk High School would be returning to four days a week in-person learning on March 2. Kindergarten through Grade 2 students will be returning to in-person instruction on February 23. Mondays will still be designated as remote learning days.
The school district has been operating under a hybrid model since September. The model has applied to all grade levels. “My goal is to bring more students back to school for in-person learning and to do so safely,” Drolet said, adding the decision to return Grade 9 students to the high school before seniors was due to the much smaller size of the class. “I apologize if this upset many of our senior students,” Drolet continued. “I applaud them for wanting to come back to school. I do understand the urgency. We’re doing the best we can with everyone in mind.”
Drolet noted the district had reported the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases among seniors. The rate of Covid-19 infections has been declining in Seekonk. The average daily incidence rate, which had been 84.1 per 100,000 residents in December, is now 46.9 per 100,000. The daily positivity rate, which had been 13.94 percent in December, has now dropped to 8.43 percent. Drolet noted there have been a total of 124 total cases of Covid-19 in the district’s schools, with seven of those reported in the last two weeks. The schools had been closed from January 4 through 8 due to an increase in reported Covid-19 infections. Seekonk has been given the designation of red, which is reserved for cities and towns with the highest average of new infections.
School committee chairperson Kim Sluter acknowledged the 2020-2021 academic year has been challenging for the administrators as well as the students. “It does take everyone’s effort,” Sluter said. “We’re asking for everyone’s patience and their still steadfast commitment to getting the students back. We will continue to work collaboratively with the (teachers’ union), with the community, and with students to make that happen.”