Southport School Committee: No return to school this school year

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 8:45am

    At a special meeting via Zoom April 16, the Southport School Committee voted to offer “only distance learning opportunities to students for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year” and that the year will officially end June 5. Staff and faculty will continue working until June 5 and food services will continue to be provided through June 5. The votes followed recommendations from Superintendent Keith Laser.

    Laser said he had heard from some parents wanting to finish early because kids are reaching “burn-out on this” but others were reporting their kids were continuing to learn and appreciate the remote teaching.

    Southport Central School Principal Lisa Clarke said: “We have a dedicated and professional staff and, while I would not want to end a school year like this, I do feel that we’re meeting the needs of our students and are in good order academically.”

    In other news, Chair Adam Harkins reported Port City Mechanical’s $257,000 offer to replace the school’s heating system. The committee accepted the proposal, which will now go to selectmen to sign on behalf of the town. It is hoped things will now move quickly because “thanks to the virus, there are some supply chain interruptions, so the sooner we can get our orders in the better,” said Harkins.

    Clarke later said that, due to the boiler replacement project, the school building would be inaccessible through the summer, so summer school would look different this year. “In the past we’ve offered a program that’s a combination of summer camp and summer school, but this year it will be more of a typical summer school feel,” she said. “Staff members are working on a schedule and will be reaching out to offer it to all SCS students this year,” she added.