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Article Published September 15, 2020

4 in 5 Clinton Students Will Attend Clinton Public Schools During Pandemic

By Eric O’Connell/

According to the results from a survey of Clinton parents, most families opted to send their kids back to school under the districts hybrid model.

Out of the 1,608 students whose families responded, 1,274 planned to report to school (about 79 percent), while 220 (about 14 percent) opted for distance learning. The remaining students either opted for other options such as homeschool or private schools, or had not responded to the survey and were in the process of being contacted by the district.

On Sept. 8 the BOE held a regularly scheduled meeting, which happened to coincide with Clinton’s first day of school. At the meeting, Superintendent of Schools Maryann O’Donnell showed the results of the survey the district conducted to determine how many students will be attending the school under the modified reopening plan.

There had been some trepidation in the community about how many students would actually take part in in-school learning, but they survey showed the vast majority of students wanted to do just that. The survey was taken before school started, so some of the number are likely to change because some families didn’t respond.

Even with nearly 80 percent of the student body returning this year, school will look very different due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Under this model, the schools are divided into smaller cohorts based on last name. Cohort A will include students with last names beginning with the letters A through K. These students will attend school in-person on Monday and Tuesday and do distance learning on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Cohort B will include students with last names L through Z. These students will do distance learning on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and attend school in-person on Thursday and Friday.

Families have also been given the chance to go fully remote without any in person instructions.

The school will be monitoring several public health metrics that must be met for schools to open fulltime. The plan is for the schools to go at least four weeks with this plan, then, if all the health metrics are met, the schools can open fulltime. This would happen in early October at the earliest.

At the BOE meeting, O’Donnell told the board that despite all the anxiety that people felt about how school would work, the first day went very smoothly.

“Every day gets a little better” as more people get familiar with the new policies and procedures, O’Donnell said.