reopening


MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE STUDENTS study outside with masks in front of Mead Chapel earlier this fall. The college’s plan to loosen up COVID-19 restrictions this month hit a snag when the state kept some mass gathering restrictions in place longer than anticipated. Photo courtesy of Sarah Ray/Middlebury College
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College officials had hoped the campus community could transition to the third and final phase of the fall reopening plan this month, but that is not going to happen. “Given current conditions and state of Vermont limits on gathering sizes and physical distancing requirements, we cannot move to Phase 3 as we conceptualized it,” wrote President Laurie Patton, Provost Jeff Cason and Acting Dean of Students A.J. Place in a campus-wide announcement Tuesday. “When we formulated our plans for the phased opening of the Vermont campus, in July and August, we imagined that we...
VERGENNES — Addison Northwest School District’s two elementary schools next week will take the first steps in what will be — if all continues to go well — a three-week phase-in to return all ANWSD pupils from kindergarten to grade 6 back to fulltime, in-school learning. It is also possible, but by no means set in stone, that by later this year the district’s older students — and those in neighboring districts — could join them in a return to five-day, in-school schedules, according to ANWSD Superintendent Sheila Soule. But the first task, Soule said, is to make sure the transition goes well...
MIDDLEBURY — The Addison Central School District announced on Friday that it would move from its hybrid model to full in-person learning, five days a week, for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade next month. Pre-K through second grade will make this shift on October 12; third through sixth grades will begin the new schedule on Oct. 19. The decision was prompted by Governor Scott's announcement earlier in the week to move the state to Step 3 of the Healthy Start Guidelines that direct how schools operate within the constraints of the pandemic. "We also continue to look at data and...

VERMONT SECRETARY OF Transportation Joe Flynn cuts the ribbon before the ceremonial first train traveled through Middlebury's new rail tunnel on Friday. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — More than four years of planning, dozens of often contentious meetings, a 10-week burst of around-the-clock construction and $72 million in state and federal funding all came down to a seven-minute train ride on Friday, Sept. 18, that ceremoniously signaled the completion of a massive new rail tunnel and the reopening of downtown Middlebury. Scores of facemask-wearing spectators lined the route of the “first train” with eight rail cars that hosted various municipal and Middlebury College dignitaries; representatives of Kubricky Corp., VHB Engineers and the Vermont Agency of...
ADDISON COUNTY — Tuesday’s announcement by Secretary of Education Daniel French that Vermont schools would move on Saturday into Step 3 of their pandemic reopening will not necessarily mean immediate changes, but schools will have more options on the table that could soon be put in place.  The most immediate effect will be the resumption of interscholastic sports competition this weekend. The most dramatic impact over the next few weeks could be a push to return kindergarten through 6th grade to full-time, in-person learning.  In his televised remarks, French emphasized the decision to do so...
On Friday morning, a ceremonial first train took the inaugural journey through the brand-new rail tunnel in Middlebury, marking the end of the 10-week shutdown of downtown. The Addison Independent's digital editor Megan James covered the event live.   Afterwards, Middlebury selectboard chair Brian Carpenter spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Main Street, and a small parade of firefighters, ambulances and other service workers followed.  
Middlebury’s Return to Campus Guide can be found online here. MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College welcomed students back to campus in late August will host residential students this fall as long as it is safe to do so. Upon their arrival students were immediately tested for COVID-19 and then tested again one week later. The college will test at least 750 students, faculty or staff every week, and will increase that number if necessary. Middlebury’s Return to Campus Guide describes the institution’s phased approach to reopening and details health and safety guidelines every member of the college...
MIDDLEBURY — It takes a lot of planning to reopen a college campus in the middle of a pandemic, and a lot of communication. Naturally, questions will arise. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Middlebury College’s fall reopening strategy. How many students are living on campus this semester?  About 2,165.  How many students will be living off campus? About 100. When does the fall semester begin and end?  Students began arriving Aug. 18. Classes began Sept. 8. Students will leave campus for good on Nov. 21 and complete the rest of the semester’s coursework remotely. What...
I have five children in the Addison Central School District, my oldest at Mary Hogan, and the other four at Cornwall School. Our Superintendent, Peter Burrows, has caused a stir with our children’s schedule, so I would like to place a letter on the current issues, and his failure to recognize parents’ concerns. Peter Burrows has decided our children can go to school two days a week, based on the last name alphabet (Monday and Tuesday last name A-L, Thursday Friday last name M through Z), rather than the full week to practice “safe social distancing and lower exposure.”  Here is where our...
BRISTOL — School starts next week in the Mount Abraham Unified School District, as elsewhere in Vermont, and by now students and families know it’s going to be different from anything anyone’s ever seen before. Then it will change, and change again. Which is why it’s hard for educators to respond to questions like “What will my child’s school day look like?” At this time, in the middle of a deadly global pandemic, the answer is going to be some version of “It depends.” But “It depends” does not mean “I don’t know,” MAUSD officials say. Far from it. For the past several months, MAUSD officials...

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