Rhode Island students will return to school on a staggered schedule after the holiday break, the Department of Education announced Monday. The statewide calendar, set when students returned to school in September, has been revised to have students go back to school from Jan. 7 to Jan. 15.
“I want to thank the district leaders, teachers, staff and families for their dedication this year and this semester particularly,” Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green said. “It has been a challenging year but an incredible display of our school communities’ dedication to our students’ learning. We are working to ensure that our school leaders have the flexibility to respond to their community needs while planning for a safe return to school in January in classrooms across Rhode Island.”
In the coming two weeks of holiday recess, students, teachers and staff are strongly encouraged to avoid social gathering limits and follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines. Following the rules will help facilitate “a successful and safe” return to school in the new year, according to RIDE. School leaders can also shift to distance learning Dec. 21 to 23 “should they decide this is the best option for their schools based on weather, scheduling and anticipated decreased staffing due to the holiday break,” the department said.
During her weekly news conference, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced that surveillance testing opportunities will be rolled out in school statewide after a successful pilot in Central Falls and other districts. These testing opportunities will allow all students, teachers and staff in a district to get tested.