Raimondo stressing patience as students begin remote learning


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Monday begins Rhode Island’s two-week remote learning period in the state and Gov. Gina Raimondo is asking parents, students and faculty for their cooperation.

“We’re learning together on this one,” she said.

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Addressing all Rhode Islanders on Sunday, Raimondo stressed that it won’t be perfect, but some learning is better than none as residents continue to practice social distancing.

“We are going to be better at this, this week than next week,” she said. “Be patient with the kinks and stay in very close contact with teachers and school leaders.”

Raimondo says plans may look slightly different from district to district.

In some, work may be all online or teachers may assign things that are written and need to be dropped off — a majority of districts will have a combination of the two.

Most districts are set up with devices and WiFi ahead of the two week learning period.

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green told Eyewitness News that students who don’t have internet access have been given paper packets and other physical materials.

Cox Communications is also offering a month of free internet service for low-income families with children in school.

“This is not an ideal situation, but I think the teachers are going to do the best that they can,” Infante-Green said.

“To all the kids out there, school is back on tomorrow,” Raimondo added. “Special note to teenagers, set your alarm, plan on getting out of bed.”

Raimondo also wants to make sure students and parents check their school district’s website for updates.

Eyewitness News learned that Monday is a training day for Johnston and classes will officially go online Tuesday.

Barrington schools will also use snow days on Monday and Tuesday so teachers and support staff can engage in professional development to prepare for online classes which will begin Wednesday.

Sunday night, the Cranston Superintendent sent an email to parents saying in part, “Don’t try to be perfect on day one” and to “be forgiving and flexible…with yourselves and your children’s teachers.”

Monday morning the Rhode Island Department of Education also checked in with students tweeting in part, “Let’s stay the course and adjust as necessary. We are here for you. WE GOT THIS!!!”

Shutting down school entirely is something Gov. Raimondo says she does not want to do.

As of right now, all schools are closed through April 3. It’s unclear if the pandemic will extend remote learning longer than two weeks.

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