Let me see if I’m understanding this correctly. Last fall, when school districts were trying to figure out how they would deliver education to our K-12 students, the governor said that he wouldn’t issue any mandates and that it was up to each district to decide what worked best for it. So each district worked out a plan that it felt was best suited for the needs of its teachers, staff and students.

Great ... and for the most part schools remained fairly safe and free from COVID outbreaks. Then the vaccine became available and the governor said that teachers, staff, and students were not a priority and they would have to wait get vaccinated. So districts did the best they could to keep everyone safe.

Now, after months of waiting, teachers and staff are now able to get their vaccinations and should be fully immunized by the beginning of May. But now, all of a sudden, the governor has mandated that all schools fully open in-person by April 19.

SAU 29 had a phased re-opening plan that was appropriate for it but now the governor has thrown a huge wrench into that plan. Teachers and staff are not fully vaccinated yet, the district is frantically scrambling to figure how to fit students in classrooms and maintain a safe distance, students are nervous about crowded classrooms and hallways, etc. And, all this is supposed to happen the week before April vacation!

SAU 29 and the school board should ignore the inconsistent messaging coming out of the Governor’s Office and follow the lead of the Monadnock School Board — delay going back to five-day, in-person classes and stick to the plan that works for them!