Health officials urge DCRSD to move to remote model

School board to meet on potential temporary change to learning model

DUDLEY β€” The Dudley-Charlton Regional School Committee will meet next week to discuss the call by local health officials to move students into a remote learning model through at least January 19.

The Boards of Health of both Charlton and Dudley met on Tuesday night and are urging school officials to temporarily transition to the remote learning model for the first two weeks of school after the holiday break, according to a letter jointly signed by Kathleen Walker and Jennifer Cournoyer, the chairwomen of the Board of Health in Charlton and Dudley, respectively. The letter to Dudley-Charlton Regional Schools Superintendent Steven Lamarche, and copied to town administrators in both towns as well as the regional school committee, states: “It is the recommendation of both Boards of Health that all schools use the ‘full remote’ learning model from January 4th to the 19th as a ‘reset’ for the District.”

Lamarche said in an email to the school community that the school committee will hold a special meeting on December 30 to consider the letter’s recommendation.

The reset would follow the regional school district’s winter break, which began with a half-day of classes on Wednesday. If school officials follow the recommendation it will provide a minimum of 27 calendar days, or nine school days, of students outside of the physical classroom space. The call for remote learning comes on the heels of escalating positive cases of the coronavirus across the Commonwealth and southern Worcester County.

“This recommendation is being made based on the large numbers of Covid-19 cases in both Dudley and Charlton,” the letter states.

Lamarche said on Wednesday there are two more positive cases of the coronavirus “in our educational community,” with the relevant contract tracing have been completed. The superintendent added: “We continue to lack evidence that the cases are linked to transmission in schools.”

According to Lamarche, there have been two new positive cases of coronavirus “in our educational community,” with the relevant contract tracing having been reportedly completed. He noted: “We continue to lack evidence that the cases are linked to transmission in schools.”

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