Remote learning

Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday that New Hampshire public schools will remain closed through the end of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, Sununu ordered schools to close March 16 and transition to remote learning. The order initially ran through April 3 and was later extended through early May.

In a letter to education officials, Sununu said the state had reviewed several scenarios in the hope of returning students to classrooms. “In the end, we determined that there is no model available at the present time to responsibly ensure the safety of our students, educators, faculty, and staff,” he wrote.

He said he made the decision now to give districts a chance to plan their summer programs. The N.H. Department of Education will provide guidance on operating summer programs by mid-May, according to the letter.

Sununu encouraged districts to “embrace flexibility” and consider switching to pass/fail grading.

He also praised the districts for their work implementing remote learning.

“School districts across New Hampshire have embraced a new normal, ensuring that our students are able to continue learning in a new environment,” he wrote. “… All of us in state government have been inspired by your perseverance and creativity under difficult circumstances.”

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @PCunoBoothKS