North Attleborough will revisit bringing back students four days each week

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School Superintendent Scott Holcomb

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

A survey of K-2 parents has had an unplanned impact on plans to increase the number of students going to school four days a week.

Superintendent Scott Holcomb said that the survey asked parents if they’d be comfortable sending their children back to school four days a week. Should this be done, social distancing would be reduced from six feet to three, though this would be in line with Centers for Disease Control restrictions. At this time, students are only in classrooms two days a week through a hybrid model used by the school.

Of the more than 800 parents who received the survey, approximately 70 percent responded, and the majority said that if more children were in the classroom, they’d go for the fully remote option.

For those North Attleborough students whose parents choose a fully remote option, a teacher is assigned to lead via a virtual classroom. This is in contrast to schools that have the same teacher lead in-person and remote students. Holcomb said that an increase to remote students such as what was suggested by the survey results would require more teachers than is currently available.

We don’t have the budget to increase the number of students in the fully remote model,” said Holcomb at the Dec. 7 School Committee meeting. “Because of this we don’t have the ability to go back to four days a week.”

Recently, an additional 250 students were added to those in school four days a week, due to specific services they need that cannot be provided remotely. In January, school officials will look at increasing the students in the middle and high school levels.

It’s unfortunate, but if we all came back, we’d go remote, due to the rate of transmission,” said committee member James Costello. “We need to make do with the cards we’re dealt.”