The push to fully reopen classrooms this spring has renewed the debate over how much in-person education is safe — and how much more the state should ask of educators.
A spike in Franklin County is partly to blame. All 10 schools in the Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union are remote this week.
One superintendent, speaking on behalf of the Vermont Superintendents Association, said the new federal guidelines are largely a vindication of what schools in the state have already been doing.
Fifth grader Xander Pennington will take classes online from his kitchen table while his mom teaches in-person classes at West Rutland School.
The Duxbury school appears to be host to the first instance of positive Covid-19 cases closing down a school this year.
Kids, parents, educators and administrators have adapted to a variety of schedules, but the systems established for the first week of classes remain subject to change.
With crowded cafeterias unsafe, providing meals to students in school and at-home is a logistical challenge for food service directors.
The Democratic nominee for governor said the Republican incumbent has not given Vermont enough money or guidance as they prepare to reopen Sept. 8.
As thousands of students plan to return to Vermont, the health department is planning for the worst case scenario of multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
A majority of districts have opted for some form of hybrid learning, with a mix of in-person and remote learning days.
Some regulations will be eased to expand the system quickly, including setting up regional child care hubs for students on remote learning days.
“The kids are not alright,” says Dr. Rebecca Bell, a critical care pediatrician and president of the Vermont chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
While most districts have adopted a hybrid model, administrators across the state remain nervous about having enough educators to adequately staff in-person instruction.
The governor and health experts encouraged districts to get younger students back in school, but said the state would respect local decisions.