East Providence's in-person pupil attendance increases slightly for second semester

Some 450 more students will return to buildings than did last fall even as pandemic restrictions remain in place

By Mike Rego
Posted 1/13/21

EAST PROVIDENCE — The school administration is expecting some 450 students who took distance learning in the first semester to resume in-person instruction with the start of the second half of …

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East Providence's in-person pupil attendance increases slightly for second semester

Some 450 more students will return to buildings than did last fall even as pandemic restrictions remain in place

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The school administration is expecting some 450 students who took distance learning in the first semester to resume in-person instruction with the start of the second half of the 2020-21 term at the beginning of February.

Superintendent Kathryn Crowley updated the School Committee at its meeting Tuesday night, Jan. 12, on the amount of families who opted to have their children return to buildings after participating virtually during the first semester due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Superintendent Crowley said of the 450 pupils heading back to schools, some 220 of those are at the elementary level.

“We’ve already started to plan for second semester, we’re looking for student desks,” Superintendent Crowley said of the slight uptick in those returning to buildings in a few weeks. “And we’re going to keep to same requirements we had in the first semester, the six-feet distancing and the cleaning because that seemed to work out well for us. So we’re going to continue with what we have done.”

A large number of students and families in the district, however, have decided to continue to take instruction virtually for the back half of the term.

The superintendent said 2,260 pupils will remain in the distance learning program, 840 from the high school, 600 from the middle schools and 820 at the elementary schools.

By contrast, 2,704 students took the virtual option last fall: 958 at the high school, 705 at the middle schools and 1,041 at the elementary schools.

Ward 1 Committee member Charlie Tsonos asked if there were changes in staffing for second semester or if students have same teachers in general as they had in the first semester?

“I’m not going to say definitely, yes,” Superintendent Crowley said. “With the increase in elementary it could mean they’re back in their classroom with their original teacher. So there could be some change grade level wise with more students coming in and less on distance learning.”

The superintendent added there will be no change in staffing middle and high school, saying, “We don’t expect and issues. We can accommodate the middle and high schools.” She also said Special Needs staffers will all be the same.

Ward 4 Committee member Jessica Beauchaine asked if there will be a need to increase busing. The superintendent Director of Operations Diana Clarkin will be working on making sure enough seats are made available to those students returning if necessary.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.