The four small schools in the North Berkshire School Union will be back in class on Jan. 4, even as some larger school districts are planning a remote learning quarantine for the first weeks of the new year.
The district was looking at 2021 as a target date but had considered submitting an SOI earlier this year. It held off as the state grappled with falling revenue from the novel coronavirus. The MSBA is funded by a penny from the state's 6.25 percent sales tax.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 5, Grades 1 through 5 will attend in person all day, Monday through Friday. Kindergarten and Grades 6 to 8 will go half-days in school and half-days remote, also Monday through Friday, with two cohorts switching between mornings and afternoons.
The small schools of Gabriel Abbott Memorial in Florida, Emma Miller in Savoy and Rowe Elementary will open students back in the classroom on Sept. 8; Clarksburg Elementary will begin the school year on Sept. 14 with a hybrid model.
The state guidelines, so far, are requiring social distancing as well as masking for students in Grades 2 and up. Schools will also require a separated space for children who may be showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Chairman Ronald Boucher and Select Board member Danielle Luchi voted Wednesday night to send a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito requesting the visit the school to see the work being accomplished there.
The School Committee voted for the two-week block on Thursday to ensure the school will be vacant for construction on the new secure entrance. That means students will have both the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas and will also have Jan. 2 and 3 off as well.
School Superintendent John Franzoni said starting work on that Friday would be part of the bid process, which also would outline work being done over Thanksgiving, Christmas break and, if necessary, February vacation.
Superintendent John Franzoni said the Department of Education has told school officials to take a deeper look at regionalization with other school districts beyond an interstate agreement with Stamford, Vt.
The Select Board on Wednesday afternoon set the date for a special town meeting to vote on the next steps toward a school district merger with Stamford, Vt.
The special town meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. at Clarksburg School.