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Barre Schools Go Virtual Till After New Year

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The Barre Unified Union School District will switch to remote learning until Jan. 4 due to a spike of COVID-19 cases.

Superintendent David Wells announced Wednesday, Nov. 25, that the district will not return to in-person operations until next year. This includes Barre City Elementary and Middle School, Barre Town Middle and Elementary School, Spaulding High School, Central Vermont Career Center, SEA and all Pre-K programs. 

In a letter to families, Wells wrote that the decision was made due to the continued spike in cases in Washington County and within Barre schools. BUUSD has had 16 cases since the start of the school year and is currently tracking five active cases among three schools. 

The closure comes after the district’s temporary suspension of in-person instruction on Nov. 11. The district extended remote operations through November break, planning to return to schools on a hybrid learning plan on Nov. 30. Now, students will finish the semester from home.

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“One of the important factors we considered was providing a stable learning environment while keeping our school community safe.” wrote Wells. “We all look forward to the day that we can return to in-person learning. This will depend on adults and students following the critically important guidance of Governor Scott and Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.”

Wells also urged school members to follow the state’s travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines this Thanksgiving. “Vermont has seen its greatest spikes in COVID-19 cases after holidays,” he wrote. The district will continue to monitor cases during this time.

Barre schools are not the only ones affected by the virus. Montpelier High School has had one new positive case in the past week, and Washington Central Unified Union School District had three new cases among two schools.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, Washington County has seen 383 new cases in the past two weeks, more than any other county in the state.