CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The Cranston School Committee voted Wednesday to start the school year off with a phased approach to in-person learning.
Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse said fully returning to in-person learning safely on Sept. 14 is “almost impossible.”
“There are a lot of unknowns,” she said.
Nota-Masse said Cranston will have a three-phased approach to in-person learning. The first phase, which will begin on the first day of school, will send Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st graders, special education and multi-language students back in-person. The rest of the students will be learning remotely until Sept. 25.
The second phase will begin on Sept. 29, in which 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th graders will return to in-person learning. The last phase will send the remaining grades – 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th and 10th through 12th – back to school on Oct. 13.
Gov. Gina Raimondo detailed a separate K-12 contact-tracing system for both public and private schools during her daily briefing on Wednesday. She said it will consist of 50 contact tracers exclusively dedicated to case investigation at schools statewide.
While all schools, with the exception of Central Falls and Providence, must provide in-person learning, parents do have the freedom to decide what’s best for their child.
“They still have the option to make a selection of whether they want their student, or their child to come in person or virtually,” Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Angelia Infante-Green said.
Nota-Masse said the Cranston School Committee will meet again on Oct. 5 to reassess the phased, in-person learning plan and determine whether to continue moving forward with it.