DERRY — Pinkerton Academy has approved a plan to safely educate its students once the new school year starts.

Last Friday, Pinkerton's Headmaster Timothy Powers released a statement to the high school's community for its plan to put a hybrid plan in place for the campus reopening.

In Powers' letter, the headmaster states that after months of work by many groups considering all aspects of campus operations, the Board of Trustees approved the hybrid plan.

"While we recognize that no plan is perfect, we are confident that this path will allow us the most flexibility in providing the quality education our community has come to expect," Powers said."This is the plan we will employ at this time; recognizing the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, we will adjust our plans throughout the year as conditions dictate."

Powers said the size of the Pinkerton students body, 3,000-plus students, makes it impossible to guarantee social distancing measures if the school was in a full operational model.

The hybrid model allows Pinkerton to provide in-person instruction for all students at least twice a week, Powers stated.

Other parts of the hybrid plan include a mask requirement for all individuals at all times while inside buildings. Additionally, masks must also be worn outside of buildings whenever six feet of distance cannot be maintained.

Families who prefer to participate in full remote learning can make that choice.

"This option will allow students to take their full schedule of classes taught by their assigned Pinkerton Academy teachers," Powers said.

A survey will be sent to families to ask their preferences for starting school.

Powers continued saying all programs and extracurricular activities will be offered, with safety guidelines in place.

"Following the established guidelines and guidance of state and national athletic associations, and in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) all programs will be offered including athletics and extracurricular activities," Powers said. "Additional precautions will be added to comply with health guidance and waivers will be required to participate in athletics as well as some academic and extracurricular programs."

Powers said all information pertaining to the hybrid plan for reopening school is available on the school's website at pinkertonacademy.org/covid. The site will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

"We recognize the difficult choices families have to make at this time," Powers said in his letter. "This letter is meant to inform our community of our plan as soon as possible so that our families can make the best decisions for their situations. More information will be coming and our website will be fully updated as soon as possible. We thank you, as always, for your support and look forward to continuing to work with you to provide our students with the best educational experience possible."

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