BILLERICA — On Aug. 17, Shawsheen Technical High School revised aspects of its hybrid reopening model to allow shop classes to proceed fully in person, while conducting all academic classes fully remotely.
Originally, the Tech intended on moving forward with a hybrid model during both academic and shop weeks. However, after evaluating feedback from a faculty survey, the school opted to alter the plan to better accommodate the needs of many teachers.
“A large number of academic teachers reported that they could not be physically present in school due to the hybrid plan chosen by the district where their elementary-aged children attend school as well as due to their personal health-related reasons,” the reopening plan reads. “As a result, we are modifying the hybrid plan for the fall.”
Under the hybrid model, the school will follow a Week 1/Week 2 rotation in order to determine which students will participate in shop or academics during a given week. During “Week 1,” grades 10 and 12 will be in-person for shop or co-op, while grades 9 and 11 will be remote for academics. In “Week 2,” the positions will switch, with grades 9 and 11 in-person for shop, and grades 10 and 12 remote for academics. In order for incoming 9th graders to experience their first week at Shawsheen in person, it was decided that the first week of school would follow a “Week 2” rotation.
Looking towards the benefits of this reopening plan, Shawsheen Tech Principal Jessica Cook stated the decision allows students to remain in tight cohorts, limiting close interactions with other students. This would allow for easier contact tracing if a case of COVID-19 was suspected.
In addition to the hybrid plan, the district is also offering a fully remote learning plan if families are uncomfortable with returning to any form of in-person learning. Additionally, the district is also working to identify higher-need students that may require fully in-person learning during both shop and academic weeks.
Aside from the standard protocol for the hybrid learning model, the reopening plan also lists safety guidelines for students/faculty both in the classroom and on the school bus, as well as any physical classroom setup changes put in motion to follow state safety guidelines.
To read the full reopening plan for the Shawsheen Tech, it can be found at: https://www.shawsheentech.org/Page/737.