Dartmouth Public Schools planning for full return

Feb 22, 2021

Citing a decline in new Covid-19 cases, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bonny Gifford said Monday that school officials have been meeting to lay the groundwork on how to get more students back into the classroom as part of a full return.

“We all understand and recognize how much our kids are struggling,” Gifford said. “We want all our kids eventually back in our schools.” 

Dartmouth’s public schools are currently operating under a hybrid learning model — with one cohort of students in one day, while the other learns remotely. 

Some private schools, like Friends Academy, held its classes in person for much of the year, with some held outdoors. Bishop Stang has also been holding class through a hybrid model.

“People made the decisions that were right for their districts,” she said. “We’re very happy with the decisions we made.” 

According to Gifford, the main priority with a potential full return will be with younger learners. As plans are developed, Gifford has asked principals to look into classroom setups. 

A big issue to consider, she said, is with spacing. 

Many classrooms use table seating, but with social distancing rules still in place, Gifford noted that the district may need to look into getting more individual desks. 

Bus seating is also something to look further into.

“We obviously have things to think about,” she said.

More details will be discussed at the next School Committee meeting on March 1.