Here’s how area schools are planning to reopen in the fall

Monitor staff
Published: 8/7/2020 2:10:01 PM

At a Thursday night meeting, the Concord School Board voted to implement a fully remote model in the fall, in a departure from the decisions of other area districts, which are mostly opting for a hybrid model.

Among the hybrid models, plans vary. Some schools are having students attend on alternating days, others have some students in the first half of the week and the rest in the second half of the week. Most schools are requiring masks in all scenarios, others in certain scenarios.

Here’s where area school districts stand on plans for the fall:


Model: In-person

As of an update Aug. 7, SAU67 serving Bow and Dunbarton will be operating in-person in the fall, with a remote option for those who wish to learn at home. Masks will be required at all times inside the school buildings, with a goal of maintaining a 6-foot distance between people, and a 3-foot distance at minimum. Seating plans will be “rigid” and cohorting will be used as much as possible to limit co-mingling. 

Read the plan


Model: Remote

Concord School District will be fully remote in the fall, with weekly administrator check-in meetings to evaluate the situation. Conversations will continue around making exceptions for students who need accommodations or may need to learn in a supervised environment in school buildings while their parents are at work. Whenever anyone is in the school buildings, masks and six-foot social distancing will be required at all times. Reopening of schools has been delayed to Sept. 8.

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Model: Hybrid

Franklin Schools will start the fall using a hybrid model that divides students into two groups that each attend school two days a week and learns remotely the rest of the time. Group A attends Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while Group B attends Thursdays and Fridays. A fully remote option is available for students who don’t want to return to schools. For safety precautions in the school buildings, classrooms and hallways will be set up for distancing. Temperature checks will occur every day upon arrival in the school buildings. Masks will be required only when a six-foot distance can’t be maintained, such as transitioning in hallways or doing up-close group work in classrooms. Reopening of schools has been delayed to Sept. 9.

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Model: In-person for pre-K, hybrid for grades K-3, remote for grades 4-12

Hopkinton School District is using different learning models for different grades in the fall. The pre-K level, where class sizes are small, will operate in-person as usual. Grades K-3 will operate on a hybrid model with limited in-person time — students will be in the school buildings for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoons — with a focus on numeracy and literacy. Grades 4-12 will be doing remote learning, but there will be an option for students to do their remote learning in a supervised setting in a school building. Masks will be required in school buildings and on buses, which are limited to 24 students, one per seat. The start day for Hopkinton schools is Sept. 14.

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John Stark

Model: In-person for Henniker Community and Center Woods, hybrid for Weare Middle and John Stark Regional High

SAU 24, that contains Henniker, Weare, John Stark & Stoddard School Districts, will be bringing elementary and secondary school students back to classrooms in the fall at Hennicker Community and Center Woods. The plan is for students to attend school in person five days a week in “cohorts,”(16 students max), to limit co-mingling. Masks rules differ slightly between each district, but will be required for most students in the SAU. A completely remote option is available. Buses will be limited to 26 students per route, with one student per seat, loading the bus from back to front. Masks are required on buses. At Weare Middle School

Weare Middle School and John Stark Regional High School students will do a hybrid model where students will be divided into two groups attending class on alternate days. One group will attend in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the other group attends in on Wednesdays and Fridays, learning remotely when they are not in school. Mondays will be remote for all high schoolers. A completely remote option is available. School will start Sept. 9. 

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Model: Remote, with in-school option

Kearsarge School District has two remote learning options for families to choose from, a regular at-home remote learning option, and also the option for students to come into the school building to do their remote school work under supervision and instruction of school employees. In school buildings, masks and distancing will be required. Kearsarge is also offering homeschooling as an option, if parents prefer to take on the responsibility of instructing their children, with the option to use some of the district’s classes to supplement the curriculum.

Read the plan

Merrimack Valley

Model: Hybrid

Merrimack Valley School District will start off the year with a hybrid model Sept. 9., with the intention to go fully in-person on Oct. 9. The hybrid model divides students into two groups, the first group will attend school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the second group will attend school Wednesday and Friday, learning remotely whenever they are not in school. Mondays will be remote for everyone, and there is an option for fully-remote for students who prefer to remain home. Masks will be required in the school buildings and buses, with a goal of maintaining a six-foot distance between people. There will be no common areas for student use.

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Model: Hybrid

Pittsfield will be offering a hybrid model, with the option to learn remotely and lots of flexibility for families. Pittsfield has divided the school year into eight segments that are four to five weeks in length, and will reevaluate the situation after each segment to allow families to determine their preferred model for the next segment. Students in the hybrid model will be divided into two groups. “A day” students will attend on Mondays and Thursdays, and “B day” students will attend on Tuesdays and Fridays, learning remotely when they are not in school. Wednesdays will be remote for everyone. Students and staff will be required to wear masks in most school settings and on the bus. Six-foot distancing is encouraged, with three-foot distancing during classroom group work.

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Shaker Regional

Model: Hybrid

Shaker Regional School District, serving Belmont and Canterbury, will begin with a hybrid model that divides students into two cohorts that attend school on alternating days. Cohort A will attend school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Cohort B will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays, learning remotely on days they are not in school. Mondays will be remote for everybody. A fully-remote option will be available. Maintaining a six-foot distance between people will be the goal, with a minimum of three feet. Everyone will be required to wear masks at all times in school buildings and buses, and large group gatherings are discouraged. School will start Sept. 9, and the typical school day shortened by one hour.

Read the plan


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