It may not have been the first day of school anyone imagined, but students are finally back in the classroom.
On Monday, about half of the 2,500 in Foxboro returned to classes for the first time since schools were shut down by the state’s emergency order, part of Gov. Charlie Baker’s effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The other half took part in class from home under the so-called hybrid mode adopted by most school districts in the area and a majority across the state. The mode calls for a rotating schedule of in-person classroom instruction and remote learning.
According to Superintendent Amy Berdos, students had a great first day back on Monday and “it was energizing to see the students head into the school buildings after six months.”
“Students expressed their excitement as they came into the buildings and you could tell by the twinkle in their eyes they were smiling behind their masks,” she added in an email.
In Foxboro, cohort B students at the middle and high school levels will arrive for in-person learning Tuesday.
“This year will be certainly be different, will require patience from all as we navigate this new journey, but most importantly our students are able to connect with teachers, staff and peers and be back together again,” Berdos said.
Foxboro’s version of hybrid learning was tailored to meet the different needs at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The reopening plan employs different scheduling rotations for younger and older students, all based on maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet when in the school building.
Most elementary students will attend school every day, with half reporting for 2-1/2 hours of in-classroom instruction each morning (8:45 to 11:15 a.m.), then returning home for remote learning from 12:30 to 3 p.m. The other half, assigned to an alternate schedule, will participate remotely during morning hours before reporting for in-classroom learning during the afternoon.
“It truly was wonderful seeing the buses roll in and parents dropping off students. We will continue to monitor how each day goes and make adjustments as we adapt to our new learning environment, but all went really well,” Berdos said after the first day of school.