The state's largest school district is resuming in-person learning for the majority of grades on Monday.
The Manchester school board modified its reopening metrics earlier this month, allowing schools to reopen with a hybrid model in spite of substantial community transmission of COVID-19.
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The district began opening its doors in the fall to students with special education needs, English language learners, and elementary and middle school students, but it switched to a remote model in November in response to the coronavirus surge.
The reopening model will have most students in class a few days a week and learning from home for the rest of the week. Those who want to stay fully remote are allowed to do so.
For Julie Turner’s family, that means her youngest child – a second grader – will return to school. The older siblings have opted to stay fully remote.
Turner says that in spite of frustrations by many parents about delayed reopening, her kids’ teachers have been accessible during virtual learning.
“I get to be a fly on the wall,” says Turner, who cares for her children full-time and sometimes overhears online classes. “When I pass my kids, I feel a swelling of pride at how hard the teachers are working.”
The reopening of Manchester schools comes amid a spike in absenteeism and failing grades there during the pandemic.
The high school has been largely remote since buildings closed last March. On Monday, seniors who chose in-person learning will go to school for the first time this academic year. Other high school grades are expected to return in February.