As the school year fast approaches, districts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are busy getting ready to welcome back students, with some heading back to the classroom while others will start the year with distance learning.

With the exception of Providence and Central Falls, all Rhode Island districts have been given the green light to reopen for full in-person learning on Sept. 14, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced this week. Districts are encouraged to “phase into” in-person learning, Raimondo said, but the expectation is that all students will be in school by Tuesday, Oct. 13.

In Massachusetts, districts were directed to submit their draft plans by July 31, which were to be finalized by August 14. The state released reopening guidance for schools back in June, and more recently, it was announced the school year will be delayed by 10 days to give educators more time to plan.

Below is an overview of the preliminary plans for each district in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. This page will be updated as new information is released, so be sure to check back for the latest.
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Rhode Island

Barrington: RIDE has reviewed Barrington’s Plan, and no changes or revisions were required at this time. The district says their key priorities are social distancing, cleaning, and screening and illness response. Read the full proposal here and check their reentry planning website for updates.

Bristol-Warren: The Bristol-Warren District announced in a letter September 9, Colt Andrews Elementary School will open fully distant for the week of Sept. 14 and Mt. Hope High School will open with a limited in-person model, with students attending in-person classes one day per week. The Bristol-Warren Education Association filed suit on Sept. 10 against the Bristol-Warren Regional School District, asking a judge to stop in-person learning from starting on Sept. 14.

Related: Bristol Warren school employee tests positive for COVID-19 »

Burrillville: Burrillville is beginning the year virtual. On Sept. 29 they will begin the first phase of in-person learning with kindergarten and 2nd grade students returning to school, with all other grades remaining remote. On Oct. 13, pre-kindergarten, grades one, three, four and five, and all special educations students will return to school. They will also begin bringing back Burillville Middle School and High School students by grade level, for one day a week. Mondays will be mostly independent learning days according to a recent Facebook post from Burrillville Public Schools.

Central Falls: Central Falls has prepared three scenarios for the fall. Governor Raimondo announced that Central Falls has not met the metrics for full in-person learning. The full document of the plan can be found here.

Chariho: Chariho Elementary School will begin with kindergarten through fourth grade in-person, pre-kindergarten will begin with in-person learning on Sept. 16, hours will be 8:35 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. For the first week of Chariho Regional Middle School fifth grade will be in-person starting Sept 14, sixth grade will begin in-person on Sept. 16, seventh grade will be in-person on Sept. 17, and eighth grade will begin in-person learning on Sept. 18, with all students fully in-person by Sept. 18. Chariho Regional High School and CHARIHOtech will have a staggered start for the first ten days of school, with fully in-person by the week of Sept. 28. See the full reopening plan on their website.

Coventry: Target 12 has learned at least 50% of Coventry parents want to see students back in the classroom this fall. Coventry has five phases of a hybrid reopening. Phase one on Sept. 14 will begin with pre-k, kindergarten, and special education fully returning to school Tuesday through Friday, at Coventry High School career and technical students in level three and four will have scheduled in-person learning. Phase two on Sept. 21 adds first and second grade students to in-person learning Tuesday through Friday. Phase three on Sept. 28 brings third and fourth grade students back to a full return. The fourth phase on Oct. 5 returns fifth grade students to fully in-person learning and sixth grade students to hybrid learning. The fifth phase on Oct. 13 returns seventh through twelfth grade back to school in a hybrid model.

Cranston: Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse announced Cranston schools will take a phased approach to resuming in-person learning. Pre-K, kindergarten, first grade, special education and multi-language students will be back in the classroom on Sept. 14, while second, third, sixth, and ninth graders will learn remotely until returning on Sept. 25, and fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades will be remote until Oct. 13.

Cumberland: The Cumberland School Committee voted late last month to start the academic year with full distance learning. Gov. Raimondo said she hopes Cumberland and other districts that did the same will reconsider after she gave them the green light to reopen for full in-person learning. Read the district’s comprehensive reopening plans here. Students in Kindergarten and grade six and nine, who have signed up for the hybrid model, will start school on October 8 and October 9. All other students who signed up for the hybrid model will begin school on October 13.

East Greenwich: Pre-kindergarten will be in-person Monday through Thursday and life skill students will be in-person every day. All other grades will have a staggered start, with plans to implement a full in-person model by Oct. 14. View how the staggered start will work and a full schedule.

East Providence: East Providence schools say they will begin the school year with their hybrid model. See their plan to view the hybrid model.

Exeter-West Greenwich: Exeter-West Greenwich Schools will have full in-person learning available for pre-kindergarten through grade six. For seventh through twelfth grade Exeter will be in-person Monday and Tuesday, West Greenwich will be in-person on Thursday and Friday, with every other Wednesday in-person. View their partial and remote plans.

Foster-Glocester: Ponaganset students in grades 6-12 will be able to attend a virtual academy if they do not feel comfortable returning to in-person learning. Students will have the option to return to in-person learning at each quarter break. Ponaganset middle and high school will allow all students who chose in-person learning to fully return on Sept. 14. On Tuesday and Wednesday Group A hybrid students will be in-person and will be virtual on Monday, Thursday and Friday. On Thursday and Friday Group B hybrid students will be in-person and engage virtually on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Find more information on the district’s website.

Jamestown: The Jamestown School District released an overview of reopening scenarios and health and safety plans. See the full presentation. Jamestown Schools posted on Facebook that Rhode Island Department of Health’s team conducted their building walkthrough. See their reopening plans.

Johnston: Johnston signed a joint cover letter with eight other districts to coordinate hybrid plans that would keep schools at 50% capacity. Read their reopening plan for the fall.

Lincoln: Lincoln elementary schools will have the option of either four days in-person or hybrid with last names L-Z in-person on Tuesday and Wednesday and A-K last names in-person on Thursday and Friday. Any in-person learning will begin on Sept. 15. For Lincoln middle and high school last names L-Z will also be in-person on Tuesday and Wednesday and A-K last names on Thursday and Friday. View the plan on their website.

Little Compton: “During this global pandemic, it is clear that we cannot plan for a ‘normal’ school year,” Superintendent Laurie Dias-Mitchell said. Their plan can be found on their homepage.

Middletown: Middletown Public Schools will have a hybrid phased in plan for the first three weeks back to school. The first week is shown in the graphic below, see the two following weeks on their website. They have a screening form that must be completed daily.

Narragansett: The Narragansett School System has a page that will be updated with reopening resources. They plan on a transitional period through Sept. 25 of hybrid instruction for sixth through twelfth grade, fifth grade will attend school daily to ease with their transition to middle school. Students have been assigned to either a red or white team by grade level, with red in-person on Monday and Thursday, while Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday white while be in person. See the full schedule.

Newport: For grades 7-12 in Newport Public Schools, Wednesday will be a full distance learning day. A summary of their reopening plans is available, along with the full report. Find more information on their re-entry page.

New Shoreham: The Block Island school plan says “most students are known well by multiple teachers and it is clear that there is a strong sense of community. It will be important to emphasize with the school community the expectations of returning to school clearly, consistently and often.” View their full plan. They also have two videos available, a day in the life for grades k-7 and a day in the life for a high school student.

North Kingstown: North Kingstown School Department will have a range of 13 to 21 in-person students in most elementary and middle school classrooms, according to their reopening facts sheet. See their presentation explaining their plans or read their full plan on the district’s website. Look at their document of frequently asked questions.

North Providence: In the North Providence School District Sept. 14 will be the first day of school for students with last names beginning with A to K, Sept. 15 will be the first day of school for students with last names beginning with L to Z. They will alternate for the first week, with all students returning on Sept. 21. See the full schedule. North Providence High School has shifted to remote learning for the time being, after about 100 students had to quarantine and an abundance of teacher absences due to COVID-19.

North Smithfield: North Smithfield Public Schools are beginning with a hybrid “soft opening” to assess conditions and further organize, they said in a Facebook post. View a breakdown of their plans, their full reopening plans, a reopening update and distance learning intent letter, and a recent letter showing the results of their distance learning intent form.

Pawtucket: The Pawtucket School Committee voted unanimously for all students to be virtual with the exception of pre-K, kindergarten, and special education and multilingual learners. Gov. Raimondo said she hopes Pawtucket and other districts that did the same will reconsider after she gave them the green light to reopen for full in-person learning. Read the district’s comprehensive reopening plans here. The district has posted a four-part video series on their reopening plans. Visit their website for more information.

Portsmouth: Portsmouth School District said kindergarten, first grade, fifth grade, and special populations will begin a hybrid scenario on Sept. 14. All other students are starting the school with distance learning as they phase in over the next few weeks. See a slideshow that explains their reopening plans. Find their most recent update on their website.

Providence: Providence Superintendent Harrison Peters says they are planning to bring students back, but a virtual learning academy is available, though it did have a rocky start. Previously, Peters announced the academy would be created so immunocompromised students and teachers to be at home. Providence Schools launched, a new website to provide information on reopening plans. View their full reopening plans in both English and Spanish. Providence public schools’ high school seniors are coming back to the classroom two weeks earlier than planned, to help with the college application process. Seniors were originally scheduled to begin in-person learning on Oct. 13, but will now return on Sept. 29.

Providence said their partial opening of the school year will be as follows:

  • Students from prekindergarten to grade five will return to school in person, but will have staggered reopening dates. Prekindgeraten through first grade will begin on Sept. 14, second and third grades will begin on Sept. 17, fourth and fifth grade will begin on Sept. 21.
  • Students in grades 6 and 9 will start the school year with an alternating schedule that switches daily between distance learning and in-person learning. The schedule repeats every two weeks.
  • Students in grades 7 are scheduled to begin the school year with distance learning only and transition to an alternating schedule by Sept. 28.
  • Students in grades 8, 10 and 11 will begin the school year with distance learning only and transition to an alternating schedule by Oct. 13.
  • Certain special populations of 6th-12th graders, such as select multilingual learners and students in self-contained special education programs, will be able to return to school for in-person learning either on a daily or alternating basis, beginning Sept. 14.

Related: After two weeks, Providence has had 18 cases in 11 schools »

Scituate: “We’ve learned lessons from last spring. We’ve been really reflective about what went well, what didn’t go well, and we’ve tried to adjust some of those aspects,” Superintendent Carol Blanchette said in a video explaining their plans for reopening schools. Watch their Scituate High School walkthrough and read their reopening plan.

Smithfield: Smithfield’s plan is prekindergarten through grade six to be taught in school buildings every day and students in seventh through twelfth grades be taught in school buildings every other day with an asynchronous virtual learning day on opposite days. Read the full Smithfield Public Schools’ reopening plan. Email with any questions on the return to school plan.

South Kingstown: All students will begin the school year fully virtual, with pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students having meeting with their teachers through Sept. 21. All students who asked for in-person learning will be integrated within the first four weeks. See the full schedule.

Tiverton: Tiverton Public Schools will be fully in-person for kindergarten, first grade, fifth grade, and ninth grade. Second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade will have two groups that will be in-person one week and remote the other. If there are no issues in September, everyone will come back in-person on October 5. Tiverton Public Schools have a health screening form that must be filled out daily. View their slides on reopening.

Warwick: Warwick Public Schools have said everyone will begin the school year with distance learning, except special education programs, preschool and career and technical education students who will continue with in-person learning. Kindergarteners through fifth grade will return to their classrooms in person, in a hybrid model, starting October 14. Under the plan, only half a grade will return at a time over a two-day span each.

  • Kindergarten on Oct. 14-15
  • Grade 1 on Oct. 20-21
  • Grade 2 on Oct. 22-23
  • Grade 3 on Oct. 26-27
  • Grade 4 on Oct. 29-30
  • Grade 5 on Nov. 4-5

Related: Warwick to purchase hundreds of air purifiers to address ventilation concerns »

Westerly: Westerly Public Schools will begin with a hybrid model. Pre-kindergarten through fourth grade will be in-person every day except Wednesday. Fifth through twelfth grade will have students with last names beginning with A-K in person on Monday and Tuesday in-person and students with last names beginning with L-Z in-person on Thursday and Friday, every student will be distant learning on Wednesday. View their presentation on reopening. Parents should scan this bar code to complete the daily health form.

West Warwick: West Warwick Public Schools say “the initial focus will be building community and relationships with students.” View the most recent updates on their website.

Related: West Warwick students created face shields for healthcare workers »

Woonsocket: Woonsocket signed a joint cover letter with eight other districts to coordinate hybrid plans that would keep schools at 50% capacity. Read the full Woonsocket Education Department’s reopening plans.

In-Depth Coverage: School Updates »


Attleboro: The Attleboro School Committee voted to approve the Attleboro Public Schools reopening plans of a hybrid learning model at all schools and to return on September 14. On Sept. 15, 30 students were quarantined after a student at Attleboro High School tested positive for COVID-19. Check their website for more updates. View the results of their fall reopening survey. More information on Attleboro’s Virtual Academy. On remote learning days families can pick up free breakfast and lunch at Attleboro High School in front of the entrance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

Related: Attleboro student went to school with COVID-19, principal says »

Bridgewater-Raynham: The Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District will run the first week of school from Sept. 16 through Sept. 18. Sept. 16 will have cohort a and c in-person, with cohort b remote. Sept. 17 will have cohort b and c in-person, with cohort a remote. Sept. 18 will have cohort c special education students in-person for 2.5 hours, with cohort a and b remote. See the most recent update from the superintendent.

Dartmouth: At a Dartmouth School Committee meeting on Aug. 10 they voted to adopt a phased-in remote learning plan, with the goal of a hybrid plan. On October 1, Cohort A pre-kindergarten peer partners, kindergarten, grade one, two and six will return to in-person learning, and October 2 Cohort B will return in-person. Visit Dartmouth Public Schools website for more information.

Dighton-Rehoboth: The Dighton-Rehoboth Regional School District started the school year with remote learning. On Oct. 13 they welcomed their first cohort of students in kindergarten, first grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, ninth grade and twelfth grade, on Oct. 15 they will welcome the second cohort for their hybrid learning program. They have a website where they will post updates.

Fairhaven: Fairhaven Public Schools will begin with hybrid learning involving two cohorts that alternate weeks of in-person learning and remote learning. Read more on their website.

Fall River: Fall River Public Schools start remotely on Sept. 16 and continue with a hybrid plan. Originally they said Cohort A will have in-person learning Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday every week, Cohort B will be fully remote, Cohort C/D will alternate weeks for in-person learning on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, every student will be remote on Wednesday. Read the full plan on their website and their quick information sheet. These are also available in Portuguese and Spanish on their website.

Foxboro: Foxboro Public Schools say they believe they can “make significant changes to make a partial return to in-person learning both safe and successful.” View their safety protocols.

Freetown-Lakeville: The Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District has decided that the safest way to begin the 2020-21 school year is by a hybrid model. The first day of school will be Sept. 15. Read the final district reopening plan here.

New Bedford: The New Bedford School Committee unanimously approved of a three-phase hybrid plan for the reopening of schools. The plan calls for most students to start the school year on Sept. 16 and gradually returning to in-person learning in October. Read New Bedford’s reopening plan here. New Bedford Public Schools and Comcast have partnered up to provide free internet access to low income families, with the goal of the six month deal to help students access the distance learning tools they need. School officials will contact eligible families to set them up with the internet access.

North Attleboro: The North Attleboro School Committee has voted on a hybrid model for the next school year. Sept. 16 will be the first day of school and students will only attend school for 170 days rather than 180. Students will be slipt into two cohorts — attending classes in person for two days and learning at home for three. Read the full letter from the superintendent.

Norton: Norton Public Schools are planning a hybrid learning model, meaning that their K-12 population would be divided into cohorts, A and B. Each cohort would consist of about 50% of their student population and each group would alternate in-person and remote learning. Read their plan here.

Seekonk: Seekonk schools announced that students attending Aitken Elementary School will begin fully remote for the first two weeks and begin hybrid learning on September 29. See Seekonk’s full reopening plan.

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Somerset: Somerset Public Schools and Somerset Berkley Regional School District will begin school remotely with the exception of high-needs special education students, who will experience some in-person learning, before transitioning to a hybrid model. The first day of school will be on Sept. 14. Regardless of the in-person or hybrid models, any family may choose to have their child learn remotely this year. Read the full plan here.

Swansea: Swansea Superintendent John Robidoux confirmed to 12 News that they will be using a hybrid model to start off the school year. He says he has not posted the plan on their website but said it will look like this: Students will be placed in Cohorts A and B. On Monday and Tuesday: Cohort A; Thursday and Friday: Cohort B; Wednesday will be remote for all students.

Taunton: Taunton Public Schools will start the school year remotely for all students, except for high needs special education students, who will be able to return in person. A hybrid learning model will then be implemented at a later phase based on COVID-19 data in the state. More information is located on their website.

Westport: Westport Public Schools are returning to class on Sept. 16 in a hybrid model. Families will be able to select complete remote learning if desired, and some students may receive full in-person learning based on level of need. The school district has released a quick reference guide on their website. The Westport School Committee on August 26 voted for preschool through first grade students to begin school fully in-person.

Private Schools

Bishop Feehan: Bishop Feehan is using a hybrid eight day rotating schedule. See the full plan on their website.

Bishop Hendricken: Bishop Hendricken’s full plan is available on their reopening website. They will be using their full model of reopening. View their case response playbook.

Bishop Stang: Bishop Stang will reopen with a hybrid model and assess the situation until moving to complete in-person learning. View their reopening plan.

Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Providence: “Full, in-person enrollment is the plan for the fall,” Superintendent Daniel Ferris said. Read the full statement here.

La Salle Academy: La Salle Academy will begin with hybrid learning. View the plan they submitted to the state.

Moses Brown School: Moses Brown will have a full in-person five day schedule. They have an official guide to reopening, find it here.

St. Mary Academy – Bay View: Bay View has virtual, in-person and hybrid models available. View their full reopening guide.

Saint Raphael Academy: Saint Raphael Academy will begin the school year with a hybrid model, with two teams separated by last name. View a presentation of their reopening plan.

Tabor Academy: Students will return to campus on Aug. 28 to be tested for the virus. Then students will be welcomed back to campus on Aug 29-31. The first day of classes will be on Sept. 2 in a hybrid model. Read the full letter from the Interim Head of School here.