EAST GREENWICH–The school committee is currently in the process of drafting a set of guidelines detailing how the district will look once back to school in the fall.

The guidelines as discussed at the committee’s July 13 meeting closely mirror those issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), according to superintendent of schools Alexis Meyer.

She explained the CDC issued its guidelines, which came in the form not of requirements but guidance that  is “highly recommended.”

“The CDC recommendations have a goal, as is ours that, all students should be back for in person learning five days a week in the fall and there will no longer be a need for distance learning,” Meyer said.

However, some social distancing–three feet for indoor activities–according to the CDC, will be required.

CDC recommendations include: at the high school and middle school levels, there will be no social distancing requirements for students who have been fully vaccinated.

Teachers that have been fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear a mask, however, for those not fully vaccinated masks will be a requirement.

Students and teachers who get sick will have to stay home, and the district will not provide distance learning.

Those who are diagnosed with COVID will be told to quarantine, until a test can be administered five days after coming down with the disease comes back clean.

Capacity restrictions on school buses will no longer be limited, but, everyone on the bus must wear a mask.

Committee co-chair Alyson Powell said its imperative that those guidelines become policy before the start of the school year.

“We need to set this policy close to the start of the school year, because of the changes that keep taking place with the disease,” as it morphs into different variants, Powell added.

Committee members also declined to hold hybrid meetings, but will continue to hold them on the Zoom platform.

Committee members said their reluctance to meetings that are in person, and on Zoom has been shown by the East Greenwich Town Council to be abysmal.

The council’s July 12 hybrid meeting was highlighted by a sound system that worked so poorly that those viewing from home on Zoom were unable to hear much of what was being said by the council, and members of the public who attempted to speak at the meeting in-person.

The committee had been considering piggybacking onto the system the council had installed at town hall or to purchase its own equipment to be used at Swift Gym.

Both of those plans have been put on hold to give the council a chance to get its system straightened out

If the town works out the bugs with its sound system, the committee said it would be open to exploring the possibility of holding hybrid meetings using the town’s system. 

In other business, following precedence several years ago, the committee will cancel one of two meetings it holds in July and August to give members a chance to go on vacation.

The July 27 and Aug. 24 meetings have been canceled but a special meeting has been scheduled for Aug. 31, just prior to the start of school for the committee to wrap up any business that needs to be taken care of before the beginning of school.

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