PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — It had all the makings of a first day of school, expect it happened in March instead of September.
For the first time since last March, students in Pawtucket’s public schools started returning to the classrooms.
Only grades 1-6 walked through the school doors Monday, with grades 7-8 returning starting March 15, and grades 9-12 will follow a hybrid learning model beginning March 29.
This is part of the phased-in plan presented by Superintendent Dr. Cheryl McWilliams at last month’s school committee meeting and approved by members.
The decision comes after several parents and teachers expressed their frustration with a decision the committee made in January, which would have kept the majority of students learning remotely for the remainder of the school year.
The staggered return to the classroom also has the support of the Pawtucket’s Teacher’s Union.
Pawtucket is the only school district in Rhode Island where students have been fully remote since the pandemic began last March.
According to the city of Pawtucket spokesperson Wil Arboleda, all speed cameras in the city have been operational since the beginning of February when some students returned to school and were split among all of the school buildings.
There are currently Pre-K, Kindergarten, Special Populations, and multilingual students learning in person at all of the schools, including the middle and high schools.