Back to school

LANGDON — Schools in the Fall Mountain Regional School District will return for the new academic year with a blend of in-person and remote learning, with students alternating days in school and at home.

Students in the district, which covers Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Langdon and Walpole, will be split into two groups that attend school two to three days per week, according to the district’s 12-page reopening framework released earlier this week. This model will allow staff and students to maintain social distancing while they are in school, according to the document.

Additionally, masks will be mandatory in all Fall Mountain school buildings, though “mask breaks” will be provided if needed, according to the plan.

Public schools statewide transitioned to remote learning in mid-March due to concern over the COVID-19 pandemic and remained that way through the end of the school year. After Gov. Chris Sununu released the state’s reopening guidance two weeks ago, largely leaving final decisions up to individual school districts, public schools throughout the Monadnock Region have been working toward finalizing their reopening plans.

Under Fall Mountain’s hybrid plan, students in preschool through 4th grade will receive assignments and materials to work on during days they are at home. Middle and high school students, on the other hand, will attend classes online during their days at home, according to the reopening framework, details of which also are posted on the Fall Mountain Facebook page.

Classes are scheduled to resume on Aug. 31, according to the district website. In the meantime, school officials will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19, and follow the latest guidance from state and federal health officials, Superintendent Lori Landry wrote in a letter to district families and staff.

“The [Fall Mountain] Hybrid Model Reopening Framework document is a fluid and dynamic plan that may change as local, state, and national trends fluctuate,” Landry wrote Wednesday in the letter posted on the district website. “... This plan may be adapted as needed to fit the needs of the school community.”

Landry added that the district will communicate any changes to the plan if and when they are made.

For now, Fall Mountain’s reopening framework also calls for all students and staff to take their temperatures before coming to or upon arrival at school, and remain home if they have a fever above 100 degrees or if they feel sick. Among additional health and safety measures, classrooms will be sanitized daily, according to the plan, and high-touch areas such as doorknobs and handrails will be cleaned frequently, too.

Fall Mountain administrators and department directors developed the reopening framework with input from nurses, union representatives and school board members, Landry wrote in her letter. The district also surveyed parents and students to gather their preferences on how schools should reopen in the new academic year.

The full Fall Mountain reopening framework is available on the district’s website at www.sau60.org.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.