Dover to return K-4 kids to school, but sports teams told 'no' for now – Foster's Daily Democrat

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Jeff McMenemy
 
| Fosters Every day Democrat

DOVER – The town Faculty Board voted unanimously to return kindergarten by fourth-grade college students to full-day, in particular person instruction on Feb. 8.

The board additionally pushed off the beginning of interscholastic winter sports activities for older college students for now.

Faculty Board Vice Chair Keith Holt made the movement for grades Okay-4, which permits for fogeys who usually are not comfy permitting their kids to return to highschool due to COVID-19 to proceed with distant studying.

Holt instructed the board the mother and father that he’s heard from “need their youngsters again at school, they may do what’s mandatory.”

Superintendent William Harbron stated the board’s vote “provides us a goal” however cautioned “we even have to ensure we have a look at that neighborhood unfold” of the virus.

Holt replied, “These youthful kiddos usually are not those who’re transmitting” COVID-19.

“If we see a large spike within the metropolis of Dover, clearly we’re going to have a look at that,” Holt stated. “I don’t suppose that ought to cease us from transferring issues ahead as quickly as we are able to.”

Holt additionally made a movement to permit for interscholastic sports activities video games scheduled earlier than the board’s subsequent assembly on Jan. 19 to be performed. However that movement failed with solely Holt, Board Chair Amanda Russell and Kathleen Morrison voting for it, which means the video games won’t happen but.

Board members Rachel Burdin, Carolyn Mebert, Zachary Koehler and Jessica Rozzo voted towards the movement.

The board had beforehand voted to permit winter sports activities, however provided that there have been lower than 25 COVID instances per 100,000 folks in Strafford County.

Christine Boston, the district’s assistant superintendent of pupil companies, acknowledged that as of Monday that quantity was at 58.4.

The board is scheduled to revisit its determination on winter sports activities at their Jan. 19 assembly and proceed with discussions in regards to the Feb. Eight in-person begin for Okay-Four college students.

“The difficulty for me is we made this determination about Okay by 4, due to transmission charges among the many youthful youngsters,” Mebert stated in the course of the board’s assembly Monday. “We’re not speaking about youthful youngsters in interscholastic sports activities, we’re speaking about highschool youngsters.”

“It’s actually not the identical factor we have been coping with immediately,” she added.

Boston acknowledged there are some pre-Okay college students already at school, and added she would replace the board on whether or not she thinks all of them ought to return at their subsequent assembly.

The board in August adopted a largely distant studying schooling mannequin due to the COVID pandemic, with pre-Okay college students and a few particular wants college students receiving in-person instruction.

Later within the fall the board allowed about 500 Dover Regional Profession Technical Heart to return for some in-person courses. However in December the board voted to go nearly completely distant as COVID instances elevated.

Mebert famous throughout Monday’s assembly that “numerous mother and father are saying we would like our children again, we would like our children again tomorrow.”

They board acquired, she estimated, about 34 letters from mother and father however solely learn three at Monday’s assembly.

It’s the board’s coverage to not share these letters with the general public – though they’re a public report – until mother and father inform them explicitly they need them to be learn.

Mebert recommended the three Dover elementary college principals might e mail mother and father to see what number of need their Okay-Four youngsters to return to in-person instruction.

“I feel that an terrible lot of individuals can be delighted to search out that faculties are open for his or her youngsters to attend in particular person regularly,” Mebert stated.

Russell learn an e mail the board acquired from Abby Clifford, who urged the board to permit college students to return in particular person initially of February.

“We’re occurring a full yr of distant studying as of March, which is a lack of studying in not just one grade degree however two,” she acknowledged within the e mail.

She stated she stop her job to assist her two youngsters with distant studying, however they “actually struggled” within the fall.

“Because of the frustration with the Faculty Board’s persevering with lack of preparation and determination making, we pulled our children out of college, a faculty that our youngsters liked very dearly,” Clifford stated.

“Our concern is that your inaction goes to result in main instructional gaps that may stick with these youngsters for a very long time,” she added within the e mail.

Erik Roy, the president of the Dover Excessive Faculty Hockey Boosters, emailed the board in assist of permitting interscholastic sports activities.

He identified that the hockey group already practices on the Dover Ice Area, and each the state and New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Affiliation have voted to permit winter sports activities.

“Why is the town of Dover placing this extra requirement?” Roy requested.

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