Questions as to how, and when, school may re-open

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 6:45pm
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As to how the Block Island School will reopen at the end of August, the School Committee, Supt. Mike Convery and School Principal Kristine Monje admitted there were things about re-opening that were known, things that were unknown, and things that cannot be anticipated.

They all admitted that it was frustrating not to have more information just five weeks before the school is to reopen.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has stated that all schools in the state will re-open on Monday, Aug. 31. The state had asked for each school district to come up with plans that would cover three scenarios: total reopening, partial reopening, and a return to online learning. Those plans have been delivered to the state, according to Convery, but the state does not plan on responding to those plans until July 28, and it won’t make a final decision as to how schools will be able to reopen until Aug. 17.

Monje said parents “ask me the magic question” about how and when school will reopen, “and I say I don’t know yet because I really don’t know.”

Given that the final decision will be made by the Rhode Island Department of Education, School Committee member Jessica Willi asked what would happen if Block Island said it did not want to open, or could not open, on Aug. 31, for whatever reason.

“I don’t have that answer as yet,” said Monje.

“It’s very frustrating. I should have the answer to that, but I don’t,” added Convery.

“It’s really up to RIDE in the end. That Aug 17 date, that’s two weeks before school opens,” said Willi. “That’s crazy.”