Under Stress of Remote Learning, Some N.H. Districts Opt to End School Year Early | New Hampshire Public Radio

Under Stress of Remote Learning, Some N.H. Districts Opt to End School Year Early

Apr 23, 2020

The Rochester School District is ending classes on May 15.
Credit Courtesy of Sandie MacDonald

The New Hampshire Department of Education estimates about a dozen school districts are ending the school year early, due to challenges of remote learning.

Earlier this week, the Monadnock and ConVal school districts became the latest to announce a truncated school year. Rochester, Milford, and the Groveton, Stark and Stratford district are also ending in May.

Some districts eliminated part or all of April break in order to accrue enough class instructional hours to meet state requirements in less time.

Other districts with a compelling reason for why they can't meet minimum state requirements for class time are applying for a waiver to the State Board of Education.

In Monadnock, Superintendent Lisa Witte says the district built an “effective model” of remote instruction, but given the high levels of stress for families in the pandemic, the board voted to end the school year on May 29, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled. Teachers will work until June 9.

Witte says sticking to the original schedule wouldn’t have given students the benefits of a typical school year.

“It's the friendships, it's the social interactions on top of the academics, and you can't recreate those things remotely,” she says.

Districts are assessing whether they will be able to offer summer programs for students in need of extra support in school buildings, or whether these will also have to be offered remotely. Governor Sununu says he will make decisions about a summer school timeline by mid-May.