High school reduces days on campus

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BRATTLEBORO — A plan for reopening the high school during the coronavirus pandemic has changed after administrators received feedback from staff and family.

Brattleboro Union High School students in 9-12 grade will now attend in-person classes once a week rather than twice a week.

"As we examined our two day attendance model, we realized that it greatly limited contact time between students and teachers," Steve Perrin, principal, wrote in a letter sent to families on Friday. "By moving to one day in school each week, teachers and students will have scheduled contact times in person or via video conferencing four times a week."

Perrin anticipates a schedule could see 9th and 10th grade students with last names starting with A through K coming into the building on Mondays and those in the same grades with last names starting with L through Z coming in Tuesdays. A similar alphabetical split could be replicated with the higher grades on Thursdays and Fridays.

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Wednesday, when school buildings in the district are set to receive "deep cleans," will remain remote-only days for students. Teachers are expected to participate in professional development that day.

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Families can opt for a fully remote option. That also will be allowed throughout the elementary schools within the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union.

BUHS families received a survey to help inform scheduling efforts. The high school also is coordinating plans with the Windham Regional Career Center, which hosts students from other local high schools on the campus as well.

"As we become more comfortable with our safety protocols and get a sense of individual student needs, we will schedule some students for a second day on campus," Perrin wrote. "We also hope to be able to offer some counseling services in small groups and perhaps offer some content-based resources centers that students can request appointments for."

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Perrin acknowledged the likelihood for changes in the instructional model and celebrated that more than 90 percent of the teaching staff indicated they will return in the fall for whatever format is selected. He said teachers will use time on campus with students to develop community, enrich online content, and provide academic and emotional support to students who demonstrate needs.

"We are working hard to prepare a school experience this year that focuses on the opportunities that lie ahead for our students, rather than one that dwells on the limitations," he wrote.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com and at @CMaysBR on Twitter.


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