Marshall Miles Interviews Lisa Carter and Ian Strever, Region One: Update on COVID-19 Protocols – December 4, 2020

Dear Region One Families and Staff:This evening the Region One Board of Education approved the HVRHS recommendation to make a shift from a hybrid model of learning to full distance learning. The distance learning schedule will begin on Monday, December 7. Assuming safe conditions relative to the spread of COVID-19 in our area, students will return to in-person learning in the hybrid model on Tuesday, January 19. This timing allows us to account for the potential of community spread over the winter holidays and return to school when the risk of infection should be more manageable.While this recommendation is based partly on the current uptick of positive COVID-19 cases at HVRHS, it also has been made due to the increased number of students who have chosen to become distance learners, making it increasingly difficult for teachers to create a cohesive learning environment in their classrooms. With input from Mr. Strever, Mr. Schibi and the HVRHS Leadership Team, we decided that a switch to distance learning for a short period is the best course of action. While this decision does not exactly follow the decision criteria outlined in the Region One Reopening Plan, it does adhere to the commitment we made at the time to provide our students with the best education possible in the current circumstances of the pandemic.We can assure all HVRHS parents that since last spring, teachers have expanded their skill sets with a range of digital tools, innovative distance learning practices, and a renewed focus on student engagement and social-emotional wellness. In addition, during their time as learners in a hybrid model, HVRHS students have demonstrated an increased ability to manage their distance learning and master digital tools to their benefit. The result is a much different experience than students had in the spring. Because the distance learning schedule will allow additional class sessions each week than was possible with the hybrid model, teachers will have more opportunities to engage with all of their students, design whole-class experiences, and deliver our curriculum. So while we know that students will temporarily miss out on some hands-on learning experiences, we also believe that they will have new opportunities to apply their learning in other settings and learn new skills in new ways.December 3, 2020This decision applies strictly to HVRHS and does not affect the day-to-day in-person operations of the six elementary schools. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the elementary schools has been low. Therefore, it is not necessary to consider a shift for those schools at this time. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 data in our towns and in each of our elementary schools and will be ready to make a similar pivot to a different learning model if the need arises.We thank the Region One Board of Education as well as our staff, students and parents for supporting this difficult decision. We are committed to our students safety and to providing the most robust and engaging learning environment possible during this challenging time.Please contact me, Mr. Strever or Mr. Schibi if you have any questions. Sincerely,


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