WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — When the state of Rhode Island enters a two-week “pause” on Monday, Nov. 30, Woonsocket schools will shift to full remote learning for the rest of the calendar year.
In a Facebook post Sunday night, Superintendent Patrick McGee said all classes from pre-K to twelfth grade will be held virtually through Thursday, Dec. 23, then students and staff will return to school as planned on Monday, Jan. 4.
“I believe that we will see a spike in COVID-19 cases during this period and I feel that it is safer for our students and staff to not be in close contact with one another,” McGee wrote.
During Gov. Gina Raimondo’s briefing on Thursday, she asked high schools to move to their “limited” in-person plans and keep buildings at or below 25% capacity. She said pre-K through eighth grade could continue with in-person or hybrid learning.
“While I respect and appreciate the Governor’s options, I am choosing to take a different path in the Woonsocket Education Department after Thanksgiving,” McGee added.
The superintendent said the decision was made due not only to the recent surge in positive cases in Woonsocket, but also the potential for even more cases between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“We have had to close many classrooms across the district and schools over the past month due to staff and students testing positive, which has made the supervision of classes and buildings extremely challenging,” McGee said.
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