The high amount of COVID-19 cases among residents, students, and staff has led the Fall River Public School system to likely remain in a modified hybrid model to March after tonight’s School Committee meeting.
At the end of November, it was announced that due to a continuous increase in community spread of COVID-19 in Fall River, the school system was to transition to a modified hybrid posture.
On December 7th, Cohort A “high needs” + Durfee Career & Technical Education shop students continued in-person learning & Cohorts B/C/D went to full remote.
Fall River Public Schools were to return to a normal hybrid model on January 4th, however, Malone stated that he was concerned that data would not be shared during the break and with the Thanksgiving spike in cases, the same could occur with Christmas so on Tuesday January 19th, students in grades pre-K to 8th grade were to return to the full hybrid model and Durfee and RPA students were to continue in the modified hybrid model until February 1st.
Malone has now extended that timeline and now students who are signed up for the hybrid model are likely not to return to the normal hybrid model before March 1st. Cohort A “high needs” and Durfee Career & Technical Education shop students will remain in in-person learning.
Malone states that there will be a meeting on February 8th and if the data shows a drastic improvement, students could come back sooner to the normal hybrid model.
Most of the spread of COVID-19 has been through the community and not in schools, however, the increase in cases in the city, and among students and staff, led Malone to increase the timeline on the modified hybrid model.
Malone expects the vaccine to be available for the school community in March and says he has seen better engagement by students during the modified hybrid model than has been seen in the past.
Malone stated that staff absences continue to be difficult to manage due to sickness and quarantine and the system will continue to look at the data when making decisions.