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Manchester Schools Go Remote As Community COVID-19 Cases Rise

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The state's largest school district is going remote, citing a steady rise in coronavirus cases and potential staffing shortages.

The Manchester Board of School Committee announced the decision on Tuesday, as the 7-day PCR Test Positivity Rate hovered around 7%, one of the highest in the state. The move takes effect Monday, Nov. 23.

Several cohorts of students - including Hillside Middle School and some high schoolers learning English as a second language - were already temporarily remote after potential COVID-19 exposure.

The city had staggered its reopening, allowing younger students and those with significant needs to return to buildings first.

The switch to remote means thousands of students who were going to school a few days a week with a hybrid model will now be home until at least Jan. 17.

The district says it is working to keep specialized populations in the building, depending on availability of staff.

Those populations including some students at the CTE school, English language learners, and special education students whose needs the district is legally required to meet, even during the pandemic.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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