Superintendent Update 7/8/2020 - School Reopening Information and Survey
North Smithfield Public Schools will be submitting to the Rhode Island Department of Education reopening plans to cover each of three specific scenarios:
We have committees working on:
We are also collaborating with school districts in our region and across the state. Our Initial plans are due to the Department of Education by July 17th. The Department of Education has hired a consulting firm to review plans and provide feedback. Regionally, we will be sharing the best solutions and coordinating our efforts to bring our students back to school safely.
Our goal is to re-open with the “Full in-person for All” model. To that end we will be:
This is just a small list. In order to reopen safely, the overall changes and restructuring will be extensive. We will try and minimize any disruptions and ensure a smooth transition to instruction regardless if conditions in August allow us to re-open fully, partially, or we have to return to an improved distance learning.
Once RIDE has reviewed our plans and we have submitted modifications we will share the plan with the community. We anticipate RIDE will be releasing finalized plans around July 30th. We will continue to reach out to the community for input as we work through revisions and changing State, DOH, and CDC guidance as we get closer to school opening.
As of this writing, we have no determination from the Interscholastic League regarding a resumption of school athletics.
Transportation and Family Survey:
Transportation is a major concern as the current guidance for buses limits ridership to one student per seat, or approximately 25 students per bus. No district in the state has the means to simply add more buses and drivers.
Superintendents have requested raising the ridership to at least two students per seat (face coverings on, looking forward, disinfecting hands when getting on and off the bus). If this new limit is approved we will be able to transport most students who typically ride the bus. We will still have to pull together and help out with carpools and other means of getting to and from school.
Please take a moment to complete this short survey for each student your family in order to give us a better sense of the changes we may have to consider in order to transport our students to and from school. Included is a (non-binding) question asking would you would consider a distance learning option, if available, rather than returning to school in-person? We also want to hear your own questions, comments, or suggestions regarding reopening in the fall.
For Further Information:
We have bundled and will continue to expand our school reopening plans, guides, and templates at https://www.nsps.us/reopening.html. This site currently contains the RIDE Statewide School Calendar, RIDE Reopening FAQ (mental, physical, and social-emotional health, protocols), and RIDE Reopening Plan Guidance and will continue to expand as our own plans develop and new guidance is added.
Michael St. Jean, Superintendent