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RI – Let’s Get Back to School!
Message from Commissioner Infante-Green
After over a year and a half of disruption to our education system, Governor McKee, Dr. Alexander-Scott, and I are proud that Rhode Island schools will be fully in person for the 2021-2022 school year. In September 2020, the Ocean State led the way in returning to classroom learning and now we are focused on accelerating learning in the wake of the pandemic to help our students get up to speed and leap forward to academic success.
It has been a long and often difficult road from our first school closures in March of 2020, but together, we have made it through to the other side. This wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing efforts of our school communities. To every teacher, family member, school staff member, principal, and superintendent who went above and beyond to keep Rhode Island’s students safe and learning: thank you. Above all, thank you to our students, who have been beacons of hope throughout this crisis and who have been the driving force keeping all of us going.
We aren’t entirely out of the woods yet. Our schools will no longer be required to provide a distance learning option for all students, but we are still a long ways from having every student vaccinated. That means that we will still be enforcing quarantines for close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases, still recommending students and staff to wear masks, and still encouraging physical distance for unstable groups indoors. Things won’t be totally normal but, all of our students and teachers will be back together to get the full social and education experience our children need to grow and thrive.
RIDE is going to be working hand-in hand with our local education leaders to make sure every school has the resources and support they need to create and follow the guidelines we are recommending. If you are an educator who needs help, please don’t hesitate to reach out—we will continue to be right by your side throughout this.
Thank you again for your patience, grace, and kindness throughout this challenging experience. Let’s all work together this summer to get our schools and our students ready to reunite in the fall.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education