PETERBOROUGH — Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders wishes to provide the following statement regarding the ongoing challenges related to the outdoor tents the district has rented to support in-person learning:
“We have learned that the tents larger than 400 square feet installed by Monadnock Tent and Event for the ConVal School District are still not ready for the permitting process.
“Foremost in our mind throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and now as we navigate this challenge, is the safety of our students and staff. That is why we have had to make some adjustments to our reopening plan to ensure everyone experiences a healthy and safe start to the school year.
“Beginning tomorrow, most students in grades seven through nine will be able to return to their respective school buildings for in-person learning.
“Principals at Great Brook and South Meadow Schools have communicated directly with parents and guardians to share scheduling details for the return to school. Ninth grade students in the gold cohort will return to the high school tomorrow to take part in in-person learning as scheduled. In order to safely limit capacity while the tent space issue is resolved, our students in grades 10-12 will continue learning remotely until further notice.
“The district is aggressively working to address the tent issue by engaging the vendor responsible for the installation and maintenance of the tents, plus engineers, alternative tent vendors and the Peterborough and Antrim Fire Departments. We have also begun exploring alternative temporary structural solutions and modified in-person schedules so that we can provide a safe teaching and learning environment.
“The permitting process began on Aug. 19. Maintaining and supplying the necessary permitting paperwork documenting the suitability of the tents is the contractual obligation of the vendor, in this case Monadnock Tent and Event, which provided the tents to the district, and we will be working with our district legal counsel to ensure that obligation is met.
“Until this issue can be resolved, we will continue to exercise flexibility and communicate regularly with students and families to make sure they have the most up-to-date information. We look forward to seeing this issue be corrected so that we can pursue our reopening plan in full, and welcome all students back to class in-person as soon as possible.”