Elementary students in Coventry to go back to learning in person five days a week

The goal is for middle and high school students to follow later that month.

COVENTRY, R.I. (WLNE) – Coventry Superintendent Craig Levis is planning to have all elementary school students back in the classroom Monday thru Friday starting April 5.

Currently, they do distance learning on Monday, and are then in-person the rest of the week.

“We know that students need to be back. We never said that this replaces in person learning,” said Levis.

He says it’s been a long process getting to this point. To make it happen they offer rapid testing for students and staff, have partitions between students, and will be organizing a vaccination clinic with Exeter – West Greenwich for all teachers and support staff in the area next Friday.

“Trying to make sure that anyone that’s working with children has the opportunity to be vaccinated,” said Levis.

Parents of younger children say they’re thrilled, given how difficult it can be for them to learn virtually.

Parent Cassi DuCharme says Mondays are a struggle for her kindergartner.

“He can’t keep his focus, he can’t – he gets so distracted even if there’s nothing around him,” said DuCharme. “The fact that he can go back all five days, be with his teacher and all his friends, and things like that, I think is a fantastic thing.”

Middle and high school students will remain in the same model they are using now: in-person for half a day two days a week, until they can work out staffing and busing.

DuCharme says she has two older nephews who she knows need to get back to having more interaction with their peers.

“This two days a week till 12:30 – it’s like, what’s even the point of them going?” she asked.

Sixth graders are also expected to go back to school four days a week starting at the end of this month.

The goal, according to the superintendent, is to get older students back in person at least four days a week in April, hopefully by after the April break.

Students will also have the option to remain in distance learning.

“We’re going to give our families one more opportunity to decide do they want to come back? Do they want to stay out?” said Levis.

At a school committee meeting Thursday night, Levis presented his plan to the committee, who responded favorably.

Levis says schools will be sending out surveys to families in the coming weeks.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island