New Bedford Public Schools this week released more details about the planned reopening of schools in September. Here's the release from the School Department:

The New Bedford School Committee approved a fall reopening plan with a phased-in approach prioritizing the district’s high needs students and those in transition grades.  Recommended by Superintendent Thomas Anderson, the 3-phase hybrid plan will go into effect August 31, 2020.  “We will use a hybrid plan, which incorporates distance learning and cohorts of students who will be in classrooms 2 days per week and participating in a strict distance learning platform 3 days per week for a full 5 days of learning each week,” he said.

Of the hybrid plan, ex officio chair of the committee, Mayor Jon Mitchell said, “It is important for families, students, and educators to know that as we move ahead, we must and will continue to monitor the state of the virus and any potential impacts on the operation of the school district. Any adjustments or changes will be based on science, data, and the best public health guidance available. This plan for the school year is a roadmap that will allow families and teachers to plan. I appreciate the work of the superintendent and the team comprised of educators from across the district who provided valuable feedback to the reopening planning process, and the families of New Bedford students who shared their thoughts and ideas with the district.”

New Bedford Public Schools will reopen in three phases with all students divided into three cohorts.

Phase I begins on August 31 when all NBPS staff report to work for staff training and professional development.

Phase II begins on September 16 when Cohort A, which will consist of students based on their learning needs (i.e., spend less than 40% in general education, level 1 English Language Learners, McKinney-Vento/homeless or extenuating circumstances) returning to school for in-person instruction 5 days a week. Cohorts B and C, which will consist of all other students, will be all accessing the distance learning platform.

Phase III begins on October 5 when Cohort B, which will consist of Transition Grades Pre-K, K, 6, and 9 returning for a hybrid schedule of classroom and distance learning. Split into two subgroups, Cohort B1 will be in the classroom for in-person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays, with distance learning on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Cohort B2 will be in the classroom for in-person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays, with distance learning on Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays.

Phase III continues on October 19 with Cohort C, which consists of all remaining students returning for a similar schedule: Cohort C1, In-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Distance Learning on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Cohort C2, In-person on Thursdays and Fridays, with Distance Learning on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Students’ schools will be contacting families directly with schedule details and information related to specific health precautions. Additional information regarding bus transportation changes will be forthcoming.

As a reminder, parents have the right to choose between the hybrid and distance learning options. The district is developing a commitment form for parents who elect to enroll their child in 100% distance learning.

Implementation of the three phases of the reopening plan will be determined by the transmission rate of COVID19 (currently 2.2% in New Bedford and less than 2.0% state average) and facility readiness, including corrective actions for identified rooms.

The reopening plan presentation is available on the

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