By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
In an effort to maintain continuity in this world of distance learning, North Attleborough students will continue their online courses through April vacation.
Superintendent Scott Holcomb said other school districts are exploring different options as the vacation—April 20-24—approaches. Shortly after school was closed to slow the spread of COVID-19, the district launched the NAPS Extended Learning web site, which includes online lessons for all grade levels, including English learners. Students are given three hours of classwork a day, and maintain contact with teachers through sites like Google Classroom. Assistant Superintendent Michelle McKeon said that students receive credit for the work they do. Paper assignments are also being provided.
“Students are becoming used to it,” said Holcomb at the School Committee meeting on April 8. “We’re beginning to figure out how to operate in the new environment. To take time off, it makes it hard to get back on again.”
In March, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that schools would remain closed through April and re-open on May 4. At this time, no update on this has been issued. The prom has been re-scheduled to June 25. Other May and June events past May 4 are still on the school calendar, though Holcomb said rescheduling may occur.
“I expect to hear from the state well ahead if we cannot return on May 4,” said Holcomb.
Schools are required to be in session for 180 days every academic year. Holcomb said that the summer heat is another reason to end the school year earlier. In the past, he said some schools had to be closed when the temperatures got too high. Should the school year go past June 30, Holcomb added that there would need to be discussions with the unions, which could have a financial impact.
The School Committee voted unanimously to have school continue through the vacation—with the exception of April 20, which is Patriots Day—with the last day to be June 22.
“I’ve heard from people that they’d prefer to have the time off in June,” he said.