HANOVER — The South Shore Tech school calendar could be modified next month to reduce the 180-day school requirement.
“The commissioner has hinted at this,” Superintendent-Director Dr. Thomas J. Hickey said at the Wednesday, July 15 SST School Committee.
Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley has announced he would allow districts to plan 170-day calendars for the school year, with additional staff training days.
Hickey has been holding meetings of a working group of administrators and faculty to plan a return to school in the fall. Such a move the first day of school to after Labor Day.
“We’re definitely, like so many other school districts, threading a needle insofar as — we don’t have all the state guidance on transportation and some other aspects — but we are expected to submit a plan [to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education] by the end of the month that will address how we want to open,” he said.
While details will have to be worked out throughout the summer are:
• Capacity to open, including space on buses, students who drive themselves and family drop-offs; and
• Flexibility of the school’s master schedule.
Families have been surveyed on the issues surrounding reopening and their concerns.
“If the state guidance on bus transportation is somehow less than one kid per seat, what I just said to you is, unfortunately, going to have to be visited even more,” he said. “But everyone seems to be, if we’re going to bring children into this building, we must find a way for all of them to be on campus for their technical studies.”
The school could handle bringing every student back for their shop weeks with two grades of kids per shop, according to Hickey who said, and another model is being developed which will allow them to return for a portion of their academic week. Greater focus will be on younger students, especially freshmen. Weeks when they are not in school, would focus on remote learning.
Hickey said he personally does not think it will be possible to bring everyone back for academic and shop instruction, transportation and classroom capacity based on social distancing guidelines for students.
All classrooms have been already modified to comply with state guidelines then officials have to look at the master schedule to figure out ways to balance off some class sizes before being able to really judge class sizes.