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State forms task force to look at getting students back in schools this fall

For Immediate Release
May 11, 2020

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by Paul Feeley

CONCORD — State education officials on Monday announced the formation of a task force to provide recommendations on bringing students back into school buildings this fall.

The School Transition Reopening and Redesign Task Force (STRRT), structured along the same lines as the Governor's School Safety Preparedness Task Force, is expected to issue preliminary recommendations by June 30, with follow-up recommendations within 30 days.

"This has been an unprecedented challenge for everyone, and will give a new meaning to 'back to school' this fall," Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut said in a statement.

"We want to provide schools with the best guidance possible on how to protect student safety and to apply the lessons we have learned from remote instruction."

The task force's first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 14 at 2 p.m.

Recommendations will be summarized across four categories:

  • Student, family and educator comfort: A goal of STRRT is to design a system that accommodates "all learners and educators without requiring others to judge an individual's risk tolerance," according to information provided by the DOE.
  • Responsive to individual learners, families and educators: The work of the task force will include the objective of capturing the strengths and mitigating the weaknesses. Some students who had success in the previous instructional model struggled in remote instruction, while others thrived in remote instruction. Likewise, some educators found the transition to remote instruction an effective way to reach students where others struggled.

Officials said STRRT will work to create a system that accommodates all learners and educators across a variety of scenarios that might be encountered this fall.