North Berkshire School Union will fully open 3 buildings this fall; Clarksburg to return in hybrid mode

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NORTH ADAMS — Three out of the four North Berkshire School Union districts will open next month with full, in-person learning.

Union Superintendent John Franzoni notified staff, students, families and community members through a memo on Thursday after a series of school committee meetings to approve each district's intended reopening plan, which were due Friday to the state education department.

"As I began to write this letter to our NBSU communities, I realized that it was five months ago today that we closed our schools on Friday, March 13. I'm pleased that we are able to announce final plans to safely reopen our schools in order to re-connect with the students and provide them with the quality educational opportunities that are the hallmark of our NBSU schools," Franzoni said in the memo.

Students and staff of Gabriel Abbott Memorial School in Florida, Rowe Elementary School and Emma L. Miller Elementary School in Savoy will return to their respective buildings for full-day, in-person learning beginning Sept. 8.

"I'm confident that we can be successful in our schools by working together as a community to keep everyone safe while supporting the educational and social-emotional needs of the children through these in person learning plans," Franzoni said.

Clarksburg Elementary School staff and students will now prepare for a phased-in hybrid start to their school year, beginning Sept. 14. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will have staggered starts to in-person learning for four half-days a week. Seventh- and eighth-grade students will begin the year fully remote, with the hope of integrating full, in-person school days for everyone at the start of October.

Clarksburg has a later start date because some repairs must be made to the building's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system before it can safely reopen for use.

Between now and the reopening dates, the districts' leadership and staff will work out curriculum plans and schedules, including plans to accommodate any family that elects to have their student involved in a fully remote learning plan. Families are authorized by the state to do so.

Jenn Smith can be reached at jsmith@berkshireeagle.com, at @JennSmith_Ink on Twitter and 413-496-6239.

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