Dear NHSBA Members -
As a follow-up to last week's email, Emergency Order #89 is now available. It can be viewed here:
Pertinent provisions of the Order state as follows:
1. Pursuant to Emergency Rule Ed 306.22 and 405.03, enacted as Exhibit P to Emergency Order #29, New Hampshire schools shall retain the option to offer full-time distance learning or hybrid instruction.
2. All New Hampshire schools must provide in-person instruction 5 days per week for all students who elect such an option, unless a school elects to transition to full time distance learning for all students or a segment of students.
3. A K-12 school may transition to required full-time distance learning for all students or a segment of students for up to 48 hours without (prior) approval if such a transition is necessary to assess concerns related to COVID-19 infections, staffing shortages related to COVID-19 infections, or another unexpected event or series of events related to COVID-19.
4. A K-12 school may only elect to operate under a full-time distance learning model for all students or a segment of students and suspend the required option for 5 days per week of in-person instruction if:
a. such a transition is necessary due to COVID-19 infections, staffing shortages related to COVID-19 infections, or another unexpected event or series of events related to COVID-19; and
b. the school receives approval for such a transition from the Commissioner of Education, who shall consider any request for such approval in consultation with the Division of Public Health Services and the Governor.
For school districts that are already offering 5-day/week in-person instruction, there are no specific changes or requirements at this time, unless the school board determines that switching to remote instruction or hybrid instruction is necessary for the reasons stated above.
If your school district is not currently offering 5-day/week in-person instruction, NHSBA provides the following recommendations:
1. It is imperative that your school board meet as soon as possible to review your local re-entry plans, staffing conditions, transportation capabilities, ability to social distance within recommended guidelines.
2. Communicate with parents as soon as possible relative to any changes that may be made with respect to your local re-entry plan.
3. If your school board determines that it is unsafe or impossible to comply with the Emergency Order, document those reasons as thoroughly as possible with clear explanations. Convey those reasons to parents as soon as possible.
4. If your school board determines that it is unsafe or impossible to comply with the Emergency Order, request a waiver to the Order through the Department of Education, as outlined above and as outlined within the Order.
5. If the waiver is granted, NHSBA recommends continuing with your local re-entry plans.
6. If the waiver is not granted, contact NHSBA or private legal counsel to discuss further.