Colegrove

North Adams Public Schools have at least one more week of remote learning scheduled, while the district waits for COVID-19 rates to drop in the municipalities that surround the city. Pictured here, Colegrove Elementary School shortly before its opening in 2016.

NORTH ADAMS — Public schools in North Adams will stay in remote learning for at least one more week, as COVID-19 rates begin to drop in the region.

The district, which has been fully remote since its winter holiday, announced that it would continue remote learning through Friday because the positivity rate for the 15 municipalities that send students and teachers to the district remains higher than the preapproved benchmark.

Surrounding communities have a collective positivity rate of 3.63 percent, according to the school’s update, above the benchmark set at 3 percent. North Adams itself had a positivity rate of just about 2 percent, well below the benchmark.

Positivity rates in North County have taken a nosedive since mid-January, when the district previously decided to extend the remote period. At that point, the city’s positivity rate was above 4 percent, while surrounding municipalities had a rate of more than 6.5 percent.

“However, the data, while promising, is not below one of the thresholds necessary to return to school in the hybrid model,” Superintendent Barbara Malkas said last week.

Malkas also noted that the district had applied to be part of the state’s pooled testing initiative for schools but had not heard back yet.

Francesca Paris can be reached at fparis@berkshireeagle.com and 510-207-2535.