February 19, 2021 - Keene School District Update regarding Keene Elementary Schools

Dear Kindergarten & First Grade Parents/Guardians: 

The Keene Elementary Principals have been discussing plans to get Hybrid students back to school on a more frequent basis as a District. During these discussions, we have determined: 

  1. We need to return to Hybrid after the break to ensure we are able to reestablish safe practices by our students in our schools. 

  2. Community transmission rates continue to trend downward. 

  3. We are intentionally starting with our youngest students first because they have demonstrated the most difficulty with remote instruction due to their limited technology experience. 

  4. All four Keene elementary schools would do this simultaneously, although each individual school would require a site-specific plan.

  5. The children in 100% Remote mode would remain 100% Remote. 

Based on the above, we decided to have Kindergarten and First Grade students return for onsite learning four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) beginning on Thursday, March 18th (Tentative date to be confirmed by March 5th ). 

In order to bring these students back in a safe manner, each Kindergarten and First Grade classroom in the District was assessed by the Building Principal in consultation with the Maintenance Department. Student capacity for each room was established that will allow the children six feet of social distance from each other. 

Based on this calculated room capacity, each Keene Elementary School Principal has developed a plan for their respective school. In some cases, Principals will have to create additional sections (classrooms) of a grade in order to ensure adequate space. In other instances, Principals will have to move classes to larger spaces in the school in order to ensure adequate space. 

Where additional sections (classrooms) will be required, Principals are working with classroom teachers at the grade level to create a reassignment plan that is the least disruptive as possible. Principals have also carefully selected staff to teach these additional sections to assure the best possible outcomes for students. 

Although we understand that this change may initially be disruptive for some students, it is our strong belief that it is very important to expand the days our Kindergarten and First Grade students are back in school. This plan will provide and maintain a safe environment for our youngest children to return to school four days per week during this Pandemic. 

It is our intention to provide the school specific plans and details during the first week of March. 

Sincerely, 

Richard Cate, Patricia Yoerger, Erik Kress, Kathleen Moaratty

Keene Elementary Principals