Students in N.H. School Administrative Unit 29 will continue remote learning next week in lieu of April break, Superintendent Robert Malay has announced. Meanwhile, the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District is taking more of a hybrid approach to this year’s traditional spring vacation.
In a post on the SAU’s website Monday, Malay said he made his decision after considering a number of factors: input, including a community survey; Gov. Chris Sununu’s ongoing stay-at-home order; district policies; and contractual obligations with unions. April 20 through 24 will now be tallied as instructional days on the district’s calendar.
“While I recognize that some people will not be happy with this decision, it was a decision that I felt was in the best interest of the majority of our stakeholders inclusive of students, parents and staff,” Malay wrote. “I do appreciate everyone’s input throughout this decision and trust that if it did not turn out the way you may have hoped, that you do understand.”
Unit 29 covers Chesterfield, Harrisville, Keene, Marlborough, Marlow, Nelson and Westmoreland. To varying extents, children from Stoddard, Sullivan, Surry and Winchester also attend schools within the SAU.
Winchester School announced Tuesday that it, too, would be canceling April vacation and continuing remote learning. A post on the school's Facebook page noted that a survey, which closed Monday, found only 8.2 percent of those responding opposed canceling the break.
In Jaffrey-Rindge, which likewise gathered input via surveys, the school board voted Monday for a two-day school closure — resulting in a four-day weekend, April 30 through May 3 — instead of starting the break April 27. Superintendent Reuben Duncan announced the decision on the school district’s Facebook page.
Districts throughout the state have been wrestling with the “to cancel or not” question amid a public health crisis that has confined most people largely to their homes. As N.H. Public Radio reported, arguments for scuttling the April break include that vacation plans have been canceled and remote-learning routines established. One of the downsides of canceling is that, on the heels of the shift to schooling at home, many people could use the time off.
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, students throughout New Hampshire have been receiving instruction remotely since mid-March.
April vacation has been canceled in the ConVal Regional School District, but is set to continue in the Fall Mountain Regional and Hinsdale school districts. The Monadnock Regional School District took a similar approach as Jaffrey-Rindge, opting to continue remote instruction for part of the week — in this case the first two days, April 20 and 21 — with a shorter break at the end.
This article has been changed to add information from the Winchester School District.