School Board Approves Changes to Starting Day Schedule, Additional Remote Learning Options
Superintendent Kyle Repucci would like to share changes to the district’s reopening plan for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.
New staggered start dates and a supplemental remote learning program for students were approved at the Rochester School Board’s meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13.
“We understand what a challenging time this is for students, families and staff alike, and we are working tirelessly to ensure that students can begin the school year as seamlessly and safely as possible,” Superintendent Repucci said. “I urge everyone to be mindful of the unprecedented nature of this pandemic, and to exercise patience as we transition to this temporary new normal.”
The new staggered schedule will split up the first day of school. The specific first days will now be:
- For all elementary schools in the district:
- Wednesday, Sept. 9 for students in kindergarten through second grade only.
- Thursday, Sept. 10 for students in third through fifth grades only.
- Students participating in in-person learning will all attend school together starting Friday, Sept. 11.
- For Rochester Middle school students:
- Wednesday, Sept. 9 for eighth grade students on the Hawaii, Plymouth, Stanford 8 and UNH teams only.
- Thursday, Sept. 10 for the sixth grade students on the Boston College, Colby College, SNHU and Stanford 6 teams only.
- Friday, Sept. 11 for seventh grade and multi-team students on the Boston University, Georgetown, Maine, Texas, Stanford 7, Vermont and Villanova teams only.
- Students participating in in-person learning will all attend school together starting Monday, Sept. 14.
- For Spaulding High School students:
- Wednesday, Sept. 9 for freshman orientation only.
- Thursday, Sept. 10 for seniors only.
- Friday, Sept. 11 for sophomores only.
- Monday, Sept. 14 for juniors only.
- Students participating in in-person learning will all attend school together starting Tuesday, Sept. 15.
A welcome back letter with information about the start of school, including these date changes, will be mailed out to district families in the coming days as well.
The district is also exploring a remote-learning option with Rochester teachers for students to supplement the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) due to the space limits the program faces. Those who have already successfully enrolled in VLACS are not expected to lose their spot in the program.
For elementary school students participating in Rochester’s remote program, their grade level teacher and classmates may be from another elementary school in the district. For middle and high school students, Courseware e-learning technology will be used. These courses have been created by Rochester teachers and Curriculum Coaches, and align to core competencies aligned to each of our courses. A Rochester teacher will facilitate learning with the students assigned to their course.
Families are asked to complete a survey to share their preference for either in-person or remote learning for their students. This survey also allows them to sign up for the supplemental remote learning program. The survey can be found here and must be completed by Friday, Aug. 21.
“We strongly encourage everyone to complete this survey, as it will be vital for our planning process as we prepare for the beginning of the school year,” Superintendent Repucci said. “We will continue to work diligently with staff and the members of the Rochester Teachers Association as we continue to iron out the final details before the start of school next month. Thank you for your understanding and support during this unique time.”
Additionally, outdoor spaces have been identified for learning and recreational activities for students to utilize during the school day to help promote social distancing during the school day. Nurses will also be available at each school in the district rather than shared between schools as they have been in the past.
An opportunity for childcare for all City employees, including those in the district, is available through the Strafford County YMCA. Information on that program and how to sign up will be sent to employees early next week.
The full presentation with the changes approved at the School Board’s Thursday meeting can be found here.
More information about the fall reopening plan can be found here.
Anyone with questions about the reopening fall for the fall are encouraged to reach out to the principals of their student’s school:
- Chamberlain Street School – 603-332-5258
- School Street School – 603-332-6483
- East Rochester School – 603-332-2146
- McClelland School – 603-332-2180
- Gonic School – 603-332-6487
- Nancy Loud – 603-332-6486
- William Allen School – 603-332-2280
- Rochester Middle School – 603-332-4090
- Spaulding High School – 603-332-0757