Marion gets ready to pivot to in-person learning

Jan 19, 2021

MARION — The Marion School committee voted unanimously on Jan. 19 to begin preparing for a pivot to in-person learning for Kindergarten, first and second graders. 

Similar to the Mattapoisett and Rochester School Committees, the Marion School Committee received a plan detailing the logistics of an in-person return. 

Unlike the Mattapoisett and Rochester committees, however, the Sippican School plan included no target start date. 

Elementary students in Marion are currently learning using a hybrid model, in which students split their time between in-school and at-home learning. 

The plan to prepare Sippican School for more in-person learning opportunities includes the usage of larger spaces like the band room and library in order to properly distance full classes of students. 

The plan also offers two options: four days in person and five days in person. The four-day option would provide the opportunity for teachers to tape lessons for remote students, while the five-day option provides a regular and predictable schedule for learners, according to a presentation from Principal Marla Sirois.

The principal said that if the plan is implemented “the depth that we’re going to be able to give to our kids is far greater.” 

She added that while parents can do well with their children on remote learning days, having a consistent in-person teacher is important for young learners. 

“Looking at the plan gave me a little bit of ease,” Committee Chair Michelle Smith said, adding that she was wary of a return to school before the plan was presented. 

Now that the plan has been approved, the Old Rochester Regional School District will begin to put together a timeline to shift the necessary classrooms into larger spaces like the band room and library. 

“So that at the right time … we could pivot and be ready to do so,” Superintendent Michael Nelson said. 

Students whose classrooms are affected by the plans will shift to their new spaces as they become ready, so that a pivot to in-person learning can occur more smoothly.