ORR Superintendent passes on guidance on school reopening

Jun 4, 2020

MARION — Superintendent Doug White of the Old Rochester Regional School District wanted to tell the Marion School Committee what to expect in reopening, but couldn’t fully do so because the state has not yet told him. 

From what he has heard from state experts, White said the guidelines that come out the week of June 15 are likely to be “very prescriptive,” the district will have to be ready and follow those to a “t” to reopen the building. 

The education commissioner did say that schools should start to stockpile protective equipment, masks, gloves, shields, gowns and sanitizer. 

White said the state views reopening as a continuum, with normalcy and students learning face to face on one side and total remote learning on the other. 

He thought that the guidance from the state would probably deal with some point in between the extremes. 

When he has heard from the commissioner he will create a task force to look at what it would mean for his district. 

School Committee member Nichole Daniel pointed out it will be extremely difficult for younger learners to keep a mask on, and wanted to make sure it was a part of the district’s conversation. 

White acknowledged the rules can’t be the same for all levels, and that is part of the conversation the task force will have. 

School Committee chair Michelle Smith said “school definitely will be different, how different we don’t know.”