Greetings Parents and Guardians,
First, I would like to thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we end what has been quite a hectic and unprecedented school year. I hope everyone is safe and healthy during this global health crisis.
As you may know, today, in her press conference, the Governor and Commissioner outlined their goal to fully reopen schools as part of Phase Three of Reopening Rhode Island. The announcement today came as a surprise to district superintendents and school leaders around the state. We were told by RIDE as recently as last week to plan to open under a hybrid model for elementary students only, and possibly also one grade at the middle school and one grade at the high school. Regarding todays news, while we are thrilled at the possibility of fully returning to a normal school experience for everyone, it should be noted and made clear that while the governor stated that she’d like all students to be able to return to school safely in the fall, she also stated that districts may have to consider alternatives, including a hybrid model where some students return with other students remaining on virtual learning, and that districts also may have to consider a model of continuing virtual learning for all students.
I am writing to all stakeholders because I am sure parents/guardians, students, teachers and support staff have numerous questions about how this is all going to come together. While we are all certainly eager to fully return all of our students to school, our goal, as always, is to provide a high quality education within an environment that is safe for everyone. Due to the timing of today’s news, with further information being provided to districts on June 19th, it is difficult to present answers to the questions everyone will have. I wanted to send this message as soon as I knew to let the North Providence school community know that we have already begun to review possible scenarios for a safe return abiding by RIDE, CDC, and DOH health guidelines. We will know more about what is possible, and what is not, once we receive the reopening of school guidelines from RIDE on June 19th.
As you can imagine, there are many many moving pieces to a reopening scenario including the ability of our plans to match CDC and RIDOH guidelines in terms of transportation, classroom configuration, school building lay outs, personal protective equipment (PPE), school schedules, staffing, etc…
As always, I assure you that if/when our district is able to form a safe, intelligent, meaningful and educationally sound plan, I will communicate it out to you so that all parents/guardians can begin planning for re-entry with your children.
Thank you as always for your help and patience as we work through these altered times together in partnership.
Joseph B. Goho, Superintendent