Finding the shift to remote learning stressful for families and educators, the Monadnock Regional School Board voted this week to end the school year early.
The board voted Monday night to end the school year on May 29, nearly two weeks earlier than anticipated, according to Superintendent Lisa Witte. She said the difficulty many families are having during the pandemic contributed to the decision.
“Remote learning is a great concept and can be very effective if implemented as a systemic approach to learning,” Witte said. “Trying to shift learning modes mid-school year, in the midst of a pandemic that brings a very real set of stressors to everyone in the community, makes balancing all of this difficult for everyone.”
Grant Bosse with the New Hampshire Department of Education said the board has the right to set its own calendar, so long as the schools reach at least 990 instructional hours for the school year.
“If they have reached the mandated number of instructional hours, they may end the academic year,” Bosse said. “They do not need approval from either the Department of Education or the State Board.”
Bosse said that ending the school year early after reaching the needed 990 hours does not indicate there is a problem with the education being offered.
Schools in the Monadnock district closed March 14 along with the rest of the state as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The district joined the rest of the states in adapting to a remote learning model.
Witte said teachers will work another seven days after the May 29 end of classes to plan on the coming school year. Until then, she told parents and caregivers that the district is ready to support them.
“Don’t worry that you aren’t doing enough, or you aren’t doing it ‘right,’ you are. We are all in this together.” She said.
The Monadnock Regional School District includes Swanzey, Richmond, Gilsum, Roxbury, Fitzwilliam and Troy.