North Attleborough students will go back to school in person this month

Kindergarteners could go back to school as early as next week.

NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. (WLNE) – Some students in North Attleborough could get to go back to school in person, as early as next week.

The school committee voted Monday night to support the superintendent’s plan to allow students to begin in person learning four days a week, with a phased in return, beginning in March.

The vote follows the state’s announcement last week that they want to start getting all students learning in person again beginning in April.

According to North Attleborough Superintendent Scott Holcomb, they’ll be the first district to get PreK-12 students back for four days a week prior to that April goal.

Many parents told ABC 6, it’s welcome news.

“If they deem it safe, we would have faith in that decision,” said parent Ryan Benharris.

The dates through the month of March will be flexible based on how each week goes, but the plan right now will be that kindergartners will be first to return on March 8, with grades 6-12 following the week after, and grades 1-5 the week after that.

“If we ever felt it wasn’t safe for students to return to school, we would not suggest having those kids come back on those dates you saw in front of us,” said Holcomb. “So we still have that flexibility.”

Holcomb explained that one of the motivators for getting students back in person quicker, was that the state has taken off capacity restrictions on school buses.

Parents that spoke with ABC 6 say they know it will be best for their young children to get back in person.

“She doesn’t learn as well on the computer either. The attention span’s not there,” said parent Brianne Veno of her daughter. “I think they need social interaction in school with other kids.”

“I think at this point it’s completely unnecessary for these kids to be home,” said parent Christina Roderick. “The data is obviously showing that they are not transmitting this in school.”

Roderick says she even moved one of her children into a private school in Rhode Island because he needed that in person one on one learning time.

“It’s a great school but it’s not free, so I’m making that sacrifice for my family,” said Roderick.

Some things are still up in the air, including where students will eat lunch and how they will be spaced. There is also still measuring being done at the high school for how many students can be in a classroom at once, which is why there is flexibility in return dates as officials are still ironing everything out.

“I mean I don’t doubt that there’s going to be bumps in the road, I think it’s going to be difficult, and I do think that every family is going to be different,” said Benharris.

As for those families who have medical issues or are worried about the risks, students will be able to remain fully remote for the year if that is their choice.

Wednesdays will remain a remote day for the month of March, but the goal will be to have students learning in person five days a week by April.

ABC 6 reached out to the North Attleborough Federation of Teachers for comment on this plan, but we have not heard back.

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, Regional News