Goldhardt, on returning to in-person learning: Emotional and academic impact of remote learning on students ‘cannot be ignored’

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Dr. John Goldhardt during a Sept. 28, 2020, meeting at City Hall. File Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – On Monday night, the Board of School Committee approved a revised metric for Manchester School District that will enable students to safely return to in-person learning as soon as Jan. 25.

As was the case in the fall, families have the option to keep students remote if they choose. Dr. John Goldhardt, Superintendent of Schools, said that nearly all students have been remote since late November and some – high school students – have been remote the entire school year.

“This revised metric is modeled after the state’s guidance, which was released in November of 2020. By utilizing this guidance, we are able to safely get students back into school sooner,” Goldhardt said. “The emotional and academic impact our students are facing in remote learning cannot be ignored, and it’s imperative that we focus on student need.”

The key change is how the district will decide between having students learning in school versus remote learning. The change allows the district to make these decisions on a school-by-school basis, depending on the level of school impact of COVID-19. Goldhardt cautioned that everyone needs to be flexible as students return to school buildings.

“The safety of our students and faculty remains of the utmost importance and we’ll continue to follow the protocols adopted in our re-entry plan. It may be that one school is able to open right away, while another is not,” Goldhardt said. “It’s possible that we’ll have to move an entire school to remote learning. There will be variables, and we’re all going to need to be patient with each other.”

Families will receive further information on the return to in-person learning in the coming days.

You can find the revised metric at http://bit.ly/MSDmetric2.