Tags: Coronavirus | rhodeisland | schools | opening | raimondo

Rhode Island Delays Public School Opening to Sept. 14

Rhode Island Delays Public School Opening to Sept. 14
Teachers who oppose schools reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, on August 6, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 August 2020 05:13 PM

Rhode Island will delay the opening of public schools two weeks until Sept. 14, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Wednesday despite the seven-day average of new novel coronavirus infections dropping 17% over the past two weeks.

“Hospitalizations are creeping up,” Raimondo said Wednesday during her weekly news briefing on the coronavirus. “We still have days with more than 100 cases per day.

“Come on. We’ve got to get kids back to school.”

Despite the seven-day average of daily new cases falling from 114 on July 31 to 95 on Tuesday, according to worldometers.info,  state Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said there were “way too many new cases” and hospitalizations are “higher than we want to be.”

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the state have remained at two or less since July 16.

Rhode Island schools were scheduled to open on Aug. 31, but now will hold off until mid September.

And a decision as to whether schools will open for in-person instruction will be delayed until Aug. 31. Raimondo wants to monitor the numbers for another two weeks before approving that.

“We’re not going to open schools until they’re safe,” Raimondo said.

She added that schools may be a mix of virtual/remote instruction and in-person instruction. 

“Just commit yourselves to the children and we'll figure it out. Today I’m saying give us all another couple of weeks to figure it out,” Raimondo said

State Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green said parents will still be allowed to decide to send their children to school or keep them home for remote learning.

But Raimondo criticized the school board, in Warwick, the third-largest city in the state with a population of about 80,000, which voted Tuesday night to start the school year with virtual learning only, eschewing even submitting a plan for in-school instruction, she said.

“I could not be more disappointed in the vote that they took,” she said, adding they “threw in the towel.”

Raimondo said she was reviewing the state’s options to change Warwick’s decision.

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Wednesday, 12 August 2020 05:13 PM
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