Staggering of in-person classes, washable masks part of Cranston’s potential back-to-school plan

School Updates

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Education officials in Cranston met Monday evening to discuss how the school district will resume classes come fall.

Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse presented her plans to the Cranston School Committee less than a week before they’re due to the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Nota-Masse’s plan includes what hybrid-learning plan might look like, which would allow for some in-person classes as well as remote classes.

“One group will be meeting in person on Tuesday and Thursday, one group will be meeting on Wednesday and Friday. How we divide that up … we are still working on the numbers,” she said.

Nota-Masse’s plan also intends to allow siblings to attend in-person classes on the same days.

“We can’t have every student in every classroom every day,” Nota-Masse said.

In her plan, all students, faculty and staff will also be required to wear face masks while meeting in person. She said washable face masks will be provided for everyone, and it will cost the school district approximately $13,000.

The school district is also trying to figure out how it will safely transport its students to and from school.

Nota-Masse said the city would need an additional 37 buses to safely transport the same number of students to school each day while following the state’s safety guidelines.

Cranston is not the only school district to express concern over busing. The Warwick School Committee has also expressed concerns and said it’s a possibility that the majority of students will need to find their own rides to and from school. In Providence, school leaders have floated the idea of having K-8 students attend schools closer to their homes so they can walk.

Nota-Masse emphasized that her plan is not finalized yet and is subject to change.

Eyewitness News reached out to several parents in Cranston who said they are anxious to learn more about the finalized plans, which school districts are required to make public by July 31.

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