Whittier Tech Chooses Hybrid In-Person/Remote Learning Option for School Reopening

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, 2019. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School Back to School Plans for the Fall of 2020. Click to read.

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School has selected a combination of in-person and remote learning for students when it reopens this fall.

Whittier Tech’s School Committee approved the hybrid program during a meeting Wednesday night. Superintendent Maureen Lynch said various preparations have been taken to make the building suitable while students will also participate in a two-week orientation to allow them to make the best use of technology on remote learning days. Students will also have the option to participate in a fully remote model to start the year.

“Our district has pulled together to craft a plan that we feel best meets the needs of our community during this challenging, evolving time,” Lynch said.

In a statement, the school said the plan reflects input given over the spring and summer from students, staff, parents and guardians, School Committee members, local public health officials and administrators.

During their academic weeks, students will stay in cohorts of 10-12 peers while remaining in one classroom. Teachers will travel between classrooms. During vocational weeks, students will be grouped in cohorts of no more than 12. Students will be required to maintain six feet of distance in their academic classrooms and vocational classrooms, labs and shops, and will be required to wear face coverings at all times.

Students will additionally be sorted into one of two groups—“A” and “B.” Group A will attend school in-person on Tuesday and Thursday and Group B will attend school in-person on Wednesday and Friday. All students will take part in remote learning on Mondays and on days they are not taking part in in-person learning.

Freshmen and new students begin the school year Wednesday, Sept. 16, students in Group A begin the school year Thursday, Sept. 17 and students in Group B begin the school year Friday, Sept. 18.

Staff will also take part in 10 days of training and professional development prior to the first day of classes to prepare for the school’s reopening.

The full plan is available online here.

Besides masks and other precautions, Whittier Tech plans to place students who develop symptoms in a designated medical waiting room and will not be allowed to return to school until either they are tested for COVID-19 or isolate for two weeks.

Entry and exit from the building will be staggered and students will be expected to disinfect their hands using provided hand sanitizer. Students may eat in the cafeteria—where seating is separated by Plexiglas, lobby or outdoors.

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