Keene High School

N.H. School Administrative Unit 29 has received a waiver from the state to delay reopening for full in-person classes until after spring break next week, Superintendent Robert Malay announced Tuesday morning.

Some districts in SAU 29 — which covers Chesterfield, Harrisville, Keene, Marlborough, Marlow, Nelson and Westmoreland — have already returned to five days a week of in-person classes, Malay wrote in a post on the unit’s website. For those districts still in a hybrid model, including Keene, Tuesday’s announcement means schools will fully reopen beginning May 3.

“We will make the most of the remaining days before the year comes to a close in June,” Malay wrote Tuesday.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced earlier this month that he was ordering all K-12 public schools statewide to hold in-person classes five days a week beginning April 19. Districts will still be able to offer a remote option to students who aren’t yet comfortable returning. Sununu’s executive order allows for districts to request a waiver to push back that date due to safety concerns.

Malay has expressed concern that many SAU 29 staff members would not be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 until late April. Officials in the Monadnock Regional School District — which covers Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Richmond, Roxbury, Swanzey and Troy — have similar worries, and the school board there sent a letter to the state declaring the district’s intent to delay reopening to May 3.

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