July 9, 2020

Seekonk Superintendent Hopeful About Reopening Schools

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Superintendent Rich Drolet is “confident” that classes will be held in Seekonk schools in the fall. All buildings were closed for the last third of the 2019-2020 school year due to fears of students and staff being exposed to coronavirus.

“I want us to return to business as usual and fully open up our schools, but we need to do so safely,” Drolet said Tuesday.

“I have a feeling we will need start with some sort of hybrid model where about 50 percent of the time, students will come to school with restrictions in place such as staying six feet apart, wearing masks, and eating lunch in the classrooms, and the other 50 percent of the time students continue with remote learning,” Drolet continued.

School Committee members expressed frustrations about not knowing for sure if the schools would be reopening in the fall.

“I understand we’re trying to be proactive, but we don’t know necessarily what we’re stepping into in September,” said member Noah Escaler during a discussion about approving memorandums of agreements for teachers and a district nurse leader.

“It’s a tough pill for me to swallow to accept or look at a position without knowing or even discussing or even planning what we are doing,” Escaler added.

“These positions were in place this year and we did go to a remote model for the last third of the year and these positions were able to continue acting in their capacity,” said committee chairperson Kim Sluter.

The decision to allow schools to reopen will be announced by either the state’s Education Commissioner, Governor Charlie Baker, or the Secretary of Education.

“This summer will be like no other and we will be working harder than ever to be prepared,” Drolet added.

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