RI Colleges, High Schools Pivot Toward Distance Learning

Rachel Nunes

PROVIDENCE, RI — High schools will move to limited in-person learning and colleges and universities will be completely remote after Thanksgiving as part of the state's latest attempt to clamp down on the overwhelming spread of the coronavirus.

The changes won't take effect until Nov. 30, the start of a two-week "pause" announced Thursday by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Students in in grades PreK-8 will remain in their current model of mostly full in-person learning.

Raimondo cited a study from IBM and the state indicating that while schools are not major spreaders, high schools are more likely to spread the virus than elementary schools. All the schools that have recorded 10 or more cases of coronavirus have been high schools.

Raimondo said that's likely because older students tend to be more mobile: going to after-school jobs participating in team, for example.

For that reason, along with the fact that older students tend to fare better with distance learning, high schools will move to a limited in-person model during the pause. What that means exactly varies from district to district.

Colleges and universities will test all students before they leave campus for Thanksgiving, Raimondo said, and will go to all-distanced learning during the two-week pause. Several schools, including Brown University and the University of Rhode Island, announced plans to move up the end of in-person classes before Raimondo's announcement on Thursday.

Coronavirus in Rhode Island: Read more

This article originally appeared on the Newport Patch