Mattapoisett preps for full elementary return

Mar 29, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — As the return to full in-person learning approaches for Mattapoisett’s older elementary students, Old Rochester Regional School District Superintendent Michael Nelson said Old Hammondtown and Center Schools are “extremely prepared” to pivot from the current learning model.

Associate Principal Kevin Tavares updated the Mattapoisett School Committee on the plan to return Old Hammondtown and Center School’s third through sixth grade students to the classroom on April 5.

When full in-person learning begins, families will have the option to send their students to fully remote school. The current hybrid remote and in-person learning model will no longer be offered.

There will be a total of 14 fully remote students between the two schools when the shift to full in-person learning begins, down from a total of 27 at the beginning of January. To accommodate the drop in remote students, responsibilities for some teachers will shift.

Sarah Mendes will teach both reading and math for second and third grade remote learners, and Deborah Camacho will provide reading instruction and support to remote students in grades one through three.

Kindergarten, first and third grade students will all attend Center School when older students return to full in-person learning.

Kindergarten and first grade classes will all remain in their current classrooms at Center School when the older students return full time, including one kindergarten class held in the gym.

All kindergarten and first grade classes will also maintain the current six feet of social distance between students. Third graders at Center School, however, will be spaced three feet apart in their classrooms.

At Old Hammondtown School, second graders will remain in the classrooms they currently occupy, with six feet of distance between students.

Fourth, fifth and sixth graders will all be spaced three feet apart in their classrooms when they return.

At both schools, six feet of distance will be maintained at lunchtime.

Arrival and dismissal at Center School will remain the same, but dismissal at Old Hammondtown will be separated by grade level.

Tavares said dismissal “is where our greatest challenge has been” in getting ready for the return of older students, adding that cars already get backed up “pretty close to Route 6” at the end of the school day.

Cars picking up students at Old Hammondtown will be split into two lines: One for grades two and four, and one for grades five and six.

Grades two and four will follow the current pickup route around the school’s inner loop, exiting via Shaw St. Grades five and six will be dismissed from the sixth grade wing, with cars exiting via Tallman St. Siblings will be dismissed from the youngest child’s area.

Old Hammondtown will do a test run of the new dismissal procedure on March 31 and April 1.

“There’s been a lot of thought and planning that goes into it and we’ll see how it goes on Wednesday and Thursday and make changes as we see fit,” Tavares said.