Q&A: RIDE commissioner on questions, concerns from first days of school

School Updates

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s Commissioner of Education Angélica Infante-Green answered questions and addressed concerns that have been brought up in the first days of reopening public schools.

  • Watch the full Q&A below and tune in every Tuesday to 12 News Now at 4 for our one-on-one with Infante-Green

If there is a COVID-19 case in a school, it is not required that they notify the entire district, according to Infante-Green.

“When RIDOH does the contact tracing, the people that are immediate contacts are those that are being notified as well to quarantine,” she said, nothing that there may be cases where an entire school community would not be made aware if there is a positive case.

But, she said she hopes districts do disclose cases in the name of transparency.

“We recommend that they notify the community so there is no misunderstanding and everyone is aware,” Infante-Green said.

In response to some saying they did not see students properly social distancing while waiting in line for temperature checks or while on the school bus on Monday, she said that is not what she has seen.

“We are trying to put procedures so that doesn’t happen,” Infante-Green explained. She also tried to assuage people’s concerns. “I have to remind everyone that close contact is 15 minutes, closer than six feet.”

The commissioner said one school decided to change their morning routine after problems they saw on the first day.

On the topic of issues with the Providence Virtual Learning Academy on Monday, Infante-Green said there were technical issues that are being ironed out.

“We met with teachers today to make sure we get what they need to be successful and the teachers that we have not heard from to really work with them to make sure they are also in a good place.”

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