Bourne Schools Make Tentative Plans for Fall Semester


BOURNE – The Bourne School Department is beginning to discuss plans for what the next semester may look like amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou said the district will create a task force for reopening schools to assist in the planning.

This task force will be made up of administrators, school committee members, teachers, and community members distributed into subcommittees based on guidance from the commissioner.

The subcommittees include the physical and virtual learning environment, teaching and learning, operations and business services, and behavioral health and social-emotional learning.

“We’ll be getting guidance from the commissioner on or about June 15, which is our last day of school,” said Zhou.

“From that point on, we’ll hit the ground running, and have regular committee meetings really trying to get our hands around what this guidance is.”

According to Zhou, 85% of the guidance schools will receive on reopening will be prescriptive, meaning mandatory state requirements.

Zhou said that there is still a lot of work left to the district, but that the mandates will make the school year easier to organize across communities.

“In seeing some of this early guidance, we can get a sense of where things are going. It’s not going to be easy,” said Zhou.

A remote-only option is being organized alongside other reopening plans by the Bourne district for those who are not ready to return.

“We are going to do our best to provide a virtual-only track for students and families who need that type of learning for at least the first semester. Until we know it’s completely safe, we’re going to do our best to have that as an option,” said Zhou.

Zhou said that there is still a place for students who want to be a part of the Bourne public schools district and that families should hold off on making homeschooling plans.

On the other end of the spectrum, Zhou said that they are also planning hands-on tracks for students who need face-to-face learning options to better succeed.

“We’ll definitely be in a cycle of planning all summer long,” said Zhou.

“Hopefully as the weeks roll out, we’ll be asking families for their opinions on things, we’ll be asking teachers for their opinions on things, and hopefully by the time we get to September, we’ll have a pretty good idea everyone will feel at least comfortable with how the rest of the year will roll out,” said Zhou.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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