Block Island Times

School welcomes students back with a test

Just as the Feb. 8 School Committee meeting was about to adjourn, Superintendent Mike Convery threw out an idea for the committee to consider. “I’m blindsiding you,” he said, apologizing for the lack of notice. His idea? To test students for Covid-19 before in-person classes resume after the February break.
Students are scheduled to return from vacation on Monday, Feb. 22, but school that day will be conducted by distance learning. That will give Nurse Practitioner Liz Dyer the opportunity to test as many students and staff as possible. Testing will be offered on Sunday, Feb. 21, and on Monday, Feb. 22, and students will return to the classroom – if it’s safe – on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Principal Kristine Monje said that a similar strategy was used after the December holidays. “When people came [back to school] after New Year’s, we had one positive test,” she said. “That positive case could have ramped through the whole school, but we caught it quick enough.”
Monje also stressed that even if people traveling on vacation were extremely careful themselves, they could find themselves inadvertently in a situation that was crowded, and where there might not be mask-wearing or other

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