Families must inform Hopkinton schools by Aug. 3 if/how their children will return

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A presentation on the fall reopening of school will be delivered Thursday at 7 p.m. by superintendent Carol Cavanaugh at the Hopkinton School Committee meeting.

The presentation, to be delivered via Zoom, will be followed by a question-and-answer period. Cavanaugh encourages the public to watch the meeting.

Hopkinton families will be asked to inform the school district by Aug. 3 whether they prefer to send their children to school in the fall using a hybrid instructional model or whether they will select full-time remote learning, Cavanaugh informed parents in an email Tuesday.

A request for these choices will be submitted to families this Friday.

These will be “binding decisions’’ and cannot be changed.

Very simply, with almost 4,000 learners in the district, it would be very challenging to create student schedules and facilitate changes throughout the month of August,’’ Cavanaugh stated.

Building principals need the month of August to create schedules for all in-person learners, and for students who are choosing remote instruction, teachers and courses will need to be arranged,’’ she said. “Scheduling is a time-consuming and complex process.’’

Changes in instruction choices may be made at times through the school year, Cavanaugh noted.

The official recommendation on reopening will be based on work done by the 36-member Reentry Advisory Group. This group was organized to examine various criteria related to school reopening in September after the extended spring closing due to COVID-19.

Cavanaugh will release a report of her recommendations for the school reopening and other resources.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) required school districts to submit plans for three learning options: a full-time, in-person instructional plan; a hybrid option combining in-person instruction and remote learning; and a fully remote learning plan.

Families will receive a copy of the extensive reentry report soon, Cavanaugh said.

Followup questionnaires will be sent from the Student Services Office and from the Director of English Acquisition, Equity and Access to students on individualized education programs (IEPs) or students who are identified as English learners.

The questionnaire will ask those who will attend in the hybrid model if they would prefer to attend school every day. Full-time instruction is afforded to high-needs children as a gap-closing measure. Families who qualify for full-time instruction should fill out the survey that comes from the district as well as the followup surveys sent by the Special Education and English Learner departments. Both must be submitted.

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