Schools prepare for K-5 full-time return Monday; Juneteenth holiday to be added

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School personnel have experienced a “dizzying week’’ as they prepare for students in kindergarten through Grade 5 to return to school full-time Monday, April 5, superintendent Carol Cavanaugh told members of the Hopkinton School Committee at Thursday’s meeting.

“Everyone has been working enormously hard’’ to get ready, she said. Their hard work, she hopes, will make the transition “appear seamless to the children.’’

Students will return to the middle school and high school April 26, the committee has agreed.

Remote education will remain available for students through the end of the school year.

A tentative memorandum of agreement on conditions for the spring full reopening has been reached between school administrators and the Hopkinton Teachers Association, Cavanaugh said.

The agreement is expected to be voted on next week by the entire membership, she said.

Juneteenth holiday added

In other issues, committee members approved a school calendar for the next two school years that will include Juneteenth as a holiday.

Juneteenth is celebrated June 19 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

Schools will close June 20 in 2022 in observance of the holiday, which falls on a Sunday that year. In 2023, the day will be observed on the actual holiday, June 19.

A Facebook group called Juneteenth in Hopkinton had advocated for the holiday to be observed in the town schools.

Members of the group have written that they are working toward “increasing our awareness of its significance. The end goal is to leverage these learnings, collaborate with or accept leadership from community members who have lived experience, and seek guidance from Black educators and professionals to respectfully celebrate this important day.’’

Adding Juneteenth to the calendar, which extends the end of the school year by a day, “honors the wishes of the community,’’ Cavanaugh said.

Facebook group members said adding the holiday reflects their effort to “make Hopkinton a more inclusive community.’’

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