ROCKPORT — Students at Rockport Elementary, Middle and High schools have completed at least one school week under the district's new hybrid reopening model.

Students at each school are split into two cohorts; while one cohort attends school in-person, the other continues with the remote learning model that has been in place since the school year started. The two cohorts switch places each day. On Mondays, all students stay home for remote learning.

The first school to reopen was Rockport Elementary on Thursday, Nov. 12. The Middle and High schools followed this Thursday, Nov. 19.

"We had a staggered opening because we weren't sure at the time what the transportation would look like," said Superintendent Rob Liebow.

Now that the hybrid reopening plan is established, the district is ushering in a new remote learning model. Thanks to a state grant fund, the district purchased nearly 100 web cameras and tripods so in-person learning in school classrooms can be streamed to students at home. While teachers are still being trained on how to livestream, some have already begun to utilize the new cameras. 

"We had a tech day this week about it," said Liebow. "It's not fully implemented and it's not required yet, but most of teachers are embracing it. I think most of them see the value of continuity between the two cohorts as trying to juggle the two groups separately is a lot of extra work. It's a lot more than what they signed up for." 

Liebow reports that students have been adapting to the hybrid model well.

"I think the kids are excited to be back," he said. "They're very compliant — they stay the proper distance and wear their masks when they need to. Even for kids you always think they don't like school, they're excited to be back."

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com

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