Rhode Island Education Department pledges to work with superintendents

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island education officials are pledging to work with a group of eight superintendents who say they are prepared for remote-only learning when schools reopen next month because they may not be ready to safely open their schools for in-person learning.

“Our top priority is bringing back students and staff in an environment that is safe, inviting, and nurturing for all,” the superintendents wrote to the administration of Gov. Gina Raimondo. “However, it has become clear over the last number of weeks that we may not be able to open schools in a way that keeps all our students, families, staff, and community members safe.”

The letter was signed by the superintendents of Coventry, Cranston, Johnston, Lincoln, Pawtucket, West Warwick, Warwick and Woonsocket.

The Rhode Island Department of Education said it would work with the districts as it has throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will continue to work closely with and be responsive to our school leaders, in accordance with the latest public health guidance and our metrics, as we work to get as many students learning in person this fall as is safely possible,” the department said in a statement.

Students are scheduled to return to the classroom on Sept. 14.

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