October 21, 2020

Seekonk Schools Will Remain With Hybrid Learning


Seekonk Schools will remain with a hybrid learning model for at least another month.

Last August, Superintendent Rich Drolet said the district would monitor the number of Covid-19 cases being reported on a weekly basis and would use that data to determine whether or not the schools can return to full classroom instruction.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), along with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, has provided school districts with a rolling 14-day metric to assist in setting transitions between learning models for the 2020-2021 school year. The guidelines are meant to supplement local decision-making policy by the School Committee and Board of Health.

In order to qualify for in-person learning, there can be no more than four reported cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 with a state positivity rate of two percent.
The hybrid model is based on reports of four to eight reported cases of 100,000 people with a positivity rate between two and four percent. If there were more than eight positive cases reported, the district would have to go to remote instruction only.

For three of the previous seven weeks, Seekonk reported more than four positive cases of Covid-19.

“Looking at this data, I would say we continue in our hybrid learning model for at least the next three or four weeks,” Drolet said at Monday’s school committee meeting. “We have been fortunate. In our first two full weeks back, we have not had any student or staff positive cases.”

“We've had a great start to the school year,” he noted. “Everyone is safe. Principals and all staff, including our custodians and maintenance workers along with our school secretaries, are doing a commendable job. Our central office staff has also done a fantastic job working over the summer to help prepare us to start this school year right. People are social distancing, implementing new safety protocols correctly, and our teachers are doing a phenomenal job fully implementing both in-person and remote learning for our students. It is truly a team effort.”

The School Committee will review the data each Friday to determine any necessary changes in the learning model so families, faculty, and staff can plan appropriately.

According to DESE: “While average daily cases per 100,000 is the metric that determines the color coding for each community, districts/schools should also monitor whether cases are increasing or decreasing vs. the prior period. Monitoring positive testing also remains an important metric.”


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