Pentucket Regional Elementary Students Could Return to School Full Time April 5

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

All Pentucket Regional elementary students will return to fully in-person learning with three-foot distancing no later than Monday, April 5, with middle and high school students following no later than April 28.

Superintendent Justin Bartholomew said the plan is based on new guidance received late Tuesday and the plan has been approved by the boards of health in Groveland, West Newbury and Merrimac and reviewed by Pentucket Regional School District Physician Stephen Beaudoin. The plan, however, is subject to impact bargaining with the Pentucket Association of Teachers.

“We will also build in a professional development day for teachers who are starting what is, for all intents and purposes, a new school year,” he said, adding, “We are welcoming back students, many of whom have not been to school in a year and have not seen their classmates in a year.”

Bartholomew said it is “highly possible that elementary in-person instruction will resume sooner.” He plans to present final recommendations to the School Committee for its next meeting, Tuesday, March 16.

While three feet will be the minimum social distancing standard in school, the school district said, increased distances will be the norm for lunches and mask breaks.

Pre-Kindergarten students are already operating on a normal schedule and have been since the start of the school year.

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