August 30 2020

Board of Health Evaluates School Reopening Plans

By: Rich Hosford

As the School Department prepares to open the schools, the Board of Health took a tour of Burlington High School on Tuesday and then met virtually with administration officials and the different school principals to discuss the reopening plans. 


Superintendent Eric Conti and the principals outlined the hybrid model and how it will work in the different schools. This includes elementary schools having a shortened day with remote learning in the afternoons and the preschool, middle school and high school students being in the buildings some days of the week and remotely on other days. They also outlined how the classrooms will be set up and how entering and walking the hallways will be conducted  for social distancing. In the middle school there are plans to have teachers switch classrooms instead of students between periods whenever possible. 


There will also be an emphasis on outdoor learning whenever possible and tents have been purchased for the elementary schools to help with that goal. Getting children outside will also give them a chance to remove masks. 


Superintendent Conti said he thinks it’s important to get students back into the classroom and added the current situation in the state and in Burlington in regards to the pandemic makes it possible to do so. 


Members of the Board of Health had some questions, including if changes would have to be made to the schools’ evacuation and shelter in place plans, to which Dr. Conti said those considerations are in the works. They also asked about keeping kids separate at recess and were told that while there would be outdoor mask breaks, they would not be using playground equipment. 


Overall, members of the board were happy with the plans. 

You can find the full meeting here.


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