How did NH re-open its schools? Part 1: Public Schools

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Over the past year, COVID-19 has impacted the entire world and schools have been no exception. Here in New Hampshire, School Administrative Units (SAUs), the entities that run day-to-day operations at the Granite State’s local public schools, have had to adapt to the pandemic through new safety measures and adjusted educational frameworks.

With the 2020-’21 School Year now underway, Manchester Ink Link is introducing a multi-part series into what local school leaders took into account when deciding how to re-open their schools.

In this, the first part of that series, we provide a look at the SAUs, their released re-opening plans, when those plans were approved and when possible, school board meeting minutes detailing what was said when decisions on those plans were being finalized.

Of the 100 SAUs in New Hampshire that have schools [1], only two did not release re-opening plans of some sort. The first is Croydon, which has a one-room elementary school with slightly under two dozen students and sends older students to other nearby SAUs. The second is Coe-Brown Academy, which has followed safety guidelines outside of an overarching plan since its school year in mid-August, a time when most other SAUs were still deliberating upon their re-opening plans.

In some SAUs that stretch over multiple towns or cities, different plans were released and different school boards needed to take votes, all of which we aimed to capture in this study.

Ultimately, the SAUs took one of four routes: a fully-remote beginning to the school year, a beginning that saw students physically at school five days a week, a hybrid of those two approaches [2], or an approach that saw different schools in the SAU vary in which one of those three options they chose.

In SAUs that chose in-person or hybrid systems, a remote option was generally given for parents unwilling to send their children to school for in-person learning. However, for this analysis, SAUs are only listed as pursuing the remote route if that was their primary method of re-opening.

Likewise, in SAUs that pursued a remote restart to the school year, some children with special needs were allowed to receive in-person learning as part of Individual Education Plans, 504 Plans, or other circumstances that necessitated in-person learning.

Many of the plans referred to themselves as “living documents” or referenced fluidity that provided SAU superintendents the authority to rapidly make learning more remote depending on the discovery of students or staff members infected with COVID-19. Additionally, many of the plans included metrics based on per-capita infection rates over a recent time frame that allowed automatic shifts of more or less remote learning. Other plans referenced a phased transition from one approach to another based on the assumption that the pandemic will recede over time and in-person learning is preferable to remote learning.

Thus, please keep in mind the attached table and map only represent approaches expected at the beginning of the school year.


[1] – Five SAUs have students, but no schools. The primary role of those SAUs is to ensure enrollment for those students in nearby schools.

[2] – Generally, a weekly routine of two days of remote learning, two days of in-person learning and a “flex” day for cleaning and teacher/student planning was the norm, but some districts pursued four days of in-person learning per week with one day of remote learning.


NameSAUInformationDecisionDate of Decision
Contoocook1District-wideIn-Person8/4/20
Inter-Lakes2Inter-LakesIn-Person8/3/20
Inter-Lakes2AshlandIn-Person8/4/20
Berlin3District-wideHybrid8/6/20
Newfound Area4District-wideElementary Schools: In-Person,
Newfound Memorial Middle School: Remote, Newfound Regional High School:
Hybrid
8/17/20
Oyster River5District-wideElementary Schools: Hybrid,
Middle School: Hybrid, Oyster River High School: Remote
8/5/20
Claremont6District-wideHybrid8/5/20
Colebrook7District-wideIn-Person8/3/20
Concord8District-wideCRTC:In-Person, Other:Remote8/17/20
Conway9District-wideIn-Person8/6/20
Derry10District-wideIn-Person7/28/20
Dover11District-wideRemote8/3/20
Londonderry12District-wideLondonderry High School:
Hybrid, Other Schools: In-Person
8/4/20
Tamworth13District-wideIn-Person8/17/20
Tamworth13Madison
Elementary School
In-Person8/3/20
Epping14District-wideIn-Person8/11/20
Hooksett15HooksettIn-Person8/12/20
Hooksett15CandiaIn-Person8/20/20
Hooksett15AuburnIn-Person7/28/20
Exeter16District-wideNo Co-Op Board Decision8/10/20
Exeter16BrentwoodHybrid8/20/20
Exeter16East KingstonRemote8/19/20  1:47:30 of video
Exeter16Exeter ElementaryRemote8/18/20
Exeter16NewfieldsRemote8/13/20
Exeter16KensingtonRemote8/17/20  2:54:30 of video
Exeter16StrathamRemote8/12/20
Sanborn17District-wide Remote8/19/20
Sanborn17ElementaryRemote8/19/20
Sanborn17MiddleRemote8/19/20
Sanborn17High
School
Remote8/19/20
Franklin18District-wideHybrid8/3/20
Goffstown19District-wideHybrid8/3/20
Gorham20District-wideIn-Person8/18/20:
Superintendent Note  
Winnacunnet21District-WideNo Co-Op Board Decision8/5/20
Winnacunnet21Hampton FallsIn-Person8/11/20
Winnacunnet21North HamptonK- Gr. 4: In-Person, Gr. 5-8:
Remote
8/6/20
Winnacunnet21SeabrookK- Gr. 4: In-Person, Gr. 5-8:
Remote
8/11/20
Winnacunnet21South HamptonIn-Person8/6/20
Winnacunnet21WinnacunnetRemote8/7/20
Haverhill Cooperative23District-WideNo Co-Op Board Decisionn/a
Haverhill Cooperative23Woodsville
Elementary
Hybrid8/26/20
Haverhill Cooperative23Haverhill
Co-Op Middle
Hybrid8/10/20
Haverhill Cooperative23BentonHybrid8/26/20
Haverhill Cooperative23Woodsville
High
Hybrid8/26/20
Haverhill Cooperative23Bath VillageHybrid8/13/20
Haverhill Cooperative23Piermont
Village
Hybrid8/12/20
Haverhill Cooperative23Warren VillageHybrid7/31/20
John Stark24District-wideNo Co-Op Board Decisionn/a
John Stark24HennikerIn-Person8/5/20
John Stark24WeareCenter Woods School: In-Person,
Weare Middle School: Hybrid
8/4/20
John Stark24StoddardIn-Person7/30/20
John Stark24John
Stark Regional High School
Hybrid8/4/20
Bedford25District-wideHybrid7/27/20
Merrimack26District-wideHybrid8/13/20
Litchfield27District-wideIn-Person8/6/20
Pelham28District-wideIn-Person7/29/20
Keene29District-wideNo Co-Op Board Decision8/6/20
Keene29ChesterfieldK- Gr. 1: Hybrid, Other Grades:
Remote
8/12/20
Keene29HarrisvilleHybrid8/17/20
Keene29KeeneHybrid8/4/20
Keene29MarlboroughIn-Person8/10/20
Keene29MarlowHybrid8/17/20
Keene29NelsonHybrid8/11/20
Keene29WestmorelandHybrid8/26/20
Laconia30District-wideHybrid8/4/20
Newmarket31District-wideIn-Person7/28/20
Plainfield32Plainfield
Elementary
In-Person8/13/20
Raymond33District-wideHybrid8/4/20
Hillsboro-Deering34District-wideNo Co-Op Board Decisionn/a
Hillsboro-Deering34Hillsboro-DeeringHybrid8/31/20
Hillsboro-Deering34WashingtonHybrid8/17/20
Profile35District-wideIn-Person8/24/20
White Mountains36District-widePre-K to Gr. 4: In-Person, Gr.
5 to 12: Remote
8/11/20
Manchester37District-widePre-K to Gr. 1 and MST: In-Person,
Gr. 2 to 12: Remote
8/10/20
Souhegan39District-wideIn-Person8/10/20
Milford40District-wideHybrid8/6/20
Hollis-Brookline41District-wideIn-Person8/20/20
Nashua42District-wideRemote8/3/20
Newport43District-wideIn-Person8/20/20
Northwood44District-wideNo Co-Op Board Decisionn/a
Northwood44NorthwoodRemote8/20/20
Northwood44NottinghamHybrid8/19/20
Northwood44StraffordIn-Person8/13/20
Moultonborough45District-wideIn-Person8/11/20
Merrimack Valley46District-wideHybrid8/10/20
Jaffrey-Rindge47District-wideHybrid8/3/20
Pemi-Baker48Campton
Elementary School
In-Person8/11/20
Pemi-Baker48Holdnerness Central
School
In-Person8/12/20
Pemi-Baker48Plymouth ElementaryIn-Person8/12/20
Pemi-Baker48Plymouth
Regional HS
In-Person8/12/20
Pemi-Baker48Russell
Elementary School
In-Person8/19/20
Pemi-Baker48Thornton
Central School
In-Person8/17/20
Pemi-Baker48Waterville
Valley Elementary School
In-Person7/30/20
Pemi-Baker48Wentworth Elementary SchoolIn-Person8/13/20
Plymouth48CamptonIn-Person8/11/20
Governor Wentworth49District-wideHybrid8/6/20
Greenland50GreenlandIn-Person8/4/20
Greenland50NewingtonHybrid8/11/20
Greenland50New
Castle
In-Person8/3/20
Greenland50RyeIn-Person8/5/20
Pittsfield51District-wideRemote8/6/20
Portsmouth52District-wideHybrid8/11/20
Pembroke53AllenstownHybrid7/27/20
Pembroke53ChichesterHybrid8/12/20
Pembroke53DeerfieldHybrid8/5/20
Pembroke53EpsomIn-Person7/28/20
Pembroke53PembrokeRemote7/28/20
Rochester54District-wideIn-Person8/13/20
Timberlane Regional55District-Wide
(Excluding Hampstead)
Hybrid8/13/20
Timberlane Regional55HampsteadRemote8/4/20
Somersworth56SomersworthRemote7/28/20
Salem57District-wideIn-Person7/14/20
Northumberland58District-wideIn-Person8/3/20
Winnisquam59District-wideHybrid8/3/20
Fall Mountain60District-wideHybrid8/6/20
Farmington61District-wideRemote8/3/20
Mascoma62District-wideHybrid8/11/20
Wilton-Lyndeborough63District-wideIn-Person8/11/20
Milton64District-wideHybrid8/12/20
Kearsarge65District-wideIn-Person8/6/20
Hopkinton66District-wideHybrid8/20/20
Bow67District-wideHybrid8/10/20
Lincoln-Woodstock68District-wideIn-Person8/12/20
Middleton69District-wideIn-Person8/4/20
Hanover70District-wideIn-Person8/19/20
Lempster71Lempster
School
Hybrid10/6/20
Alton72District-wideIn-Person8/10/20
Gilford73District-wideIn-Person8/4/20
Barrington74District-wideIn-Person8/25/20
Grantham75District-wideHybrid8/18/20
Lyme76District-wideIn-Person8/25/20
Monroe77District-wideIn-Person7/27/20
Rivendell78District-wideRemote8/4/20
Gilmanton79District-wideIn-Person8/29/20
Shaker Regional80District-wideHybrid8/20/20
Shaker Regional80Belmont
Elementary
Hybrid8/20/20
Shaker Regional80Belmont
High School
Hybrid8/20/20
Shaker Regional80Belmont
Middle School
Hybrid8/20/20
Shaker Regional80Canterbury
Elementary School
Hybrid8/20/20
Hudson81District-wideIn-Person7/20/20
Chester82District-wideIn-Person8/5/20
Fremont83District-wideIn-Person8/4/20
Littleton84District-wideHybrid10/17/20
Littleton84Littleton
High School
Hybrid10/17/20
Littleton84Lakeway
Elementary
Hybrid10/17/20
Sunapee85District-wideIn-Person8/5/20
Barnstead86District-wideIn-Person8/25/20
Mascenic87Boynton
Middle School
Hybrid8/24/20
Mascenic87Mascenic
Regional High School
Hybrid8/24/20
Mascenic87Highbridge
Hill Elementary School
Hybrid8/24/20
Lebanon88District-wideHybrid8/26/20
Mason89District-wideHybrid8/10/20
Hampton90District-wideHybrid7/28/20
Surry91n/an/an/a
Hinsdale92District-wideHinsdale Elementary: In-Person,
Hinsdale Middle/High School: Hybrid
8/5/20
Monadnock93District-wideHybrid8/4/20
Winchester94District-wideHybrid9/3/20
Windham95Golden
Brook School
Hybrid7/30/20
Windham95Windham
Center School
Hybrid7/30/20
Windham95Windham
Middle School
Hybrid7/30/20
Windham95Windham
High School
Hybrid7/30/20
Sullivan96n/an/an/a
Hale's Location97n/an/an/a
Coos County98n/an/an/a
Croydon99No Official PlanIn-Personn/a
Cornish100Cornish
Elementary School
In-Person8/3/20
Wakefield101Paul
School
In-Person8/18/20
Goshen102n/an/an/a
Hill103Jennie
Blake Elementary School
In-Person8/7/20
Rollinsford104Rollinsford
Grade School
Remote8/13/20
Coe-Brown201No Official PlanIn-Personn/a
Pinkerton202District-wideHybrid7/31/20
Prospect Mountain301Prospect
Mountain High School
Hybrid10/18/20
About Andrew Sylvia 2132 Articles
Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and license to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.