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Claremont school district goes fully remote in response to local COVID surge

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 5:20 PM EST
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CLAREMONT, N.H. (WCAX) - While COVID-19 numbers in New Hampshire remain high relative to Vermont, they do appear to be heading in the right direction. An exception is Claremont, New Hampshire, where cases continue to rise and the school district is now in a fully remote model.

After positive cases at both Stevens High School and the nearby middle school, the Claremont School Board announced the district is temporarily moving to a fully remote model. “It is unfortunate that my daughters have had to be affected in the way that they have,” said Robert Gere, a local parent. He questions whether the decision is doing more harm than good. “Kids interacting with one another, learning boundaries, learning what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate -- and they are not going to learn any of that when they are talking to a teacher with no other kids interacting at all on a computer.”

There are currently 73 active cases in Claremont, including a new cluster at a senior apartment complex. The city currently has the most cases on the western side of the state, though the active caseload in bigger cities like Concord and Manchester remains in the hundreds.

“I like her being home but she is not getting that social interaction around other kids,” said Selina Fowler, Gere’s fiancé, but she says she understands the district’s primary motive of keeping kids safe. “It’s crazy. This world has gone to a crazy period, crazy time.”

The superintendent in Claremont was unavailable for an interview Friday to provide additional details. The fully remote learning model will continue throughout the district until January 19th.

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