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Groton Middle School opening delayed until Sept. 14

Groton — The opening of the new Groton Middle School has been delayed until Sept. 14, and all middle school students will learn remotely next week, Superintendent Michael Graner said.

He said school officials originally were planning a series of walk-through tours on Friday and were working with the construction team and fire marshal and getting the building inspected to have everything ready for Friday.

“The closer we got, we realized we did not feel we had sufficient time to get all the kids through and have an appropriate tour,” Graner said.

The district also wanted to ensure the students knew all the safety procedures to orient themselves to the new building and the protocols due to COVID-19, and also wanted to distribute computers to every child that needed one.

He said school officials realized that if the middle school started classes with distance learning for the first week, they could accomplish the tours, the safety updates and the technology check-in.

Students will learn remotely Sept. 8 through Sept. 11. Staggered by grade level and cohort, they will visit the school throughout the week for tours and safety orientation on protocols, such as arrival and dismissal procedures, Graner said. The school district will give five tours each day and will provide transportation.

Starting Saturday and continuing next week, the principal and staff will distribute computers to any student who does not have one or has one that is not working.

Graner said the building project faced some delays, including getting the lighting set up in the theater and unpacking, which is being done in staggered shifts due to the pandemic. A visit from Eversource to switch over from temporary to permanent power was delayed from Wednesday until the late afternoon Friday due to the weather.

He said inspectors have been in the school all week, and the building is now cleared to be occupied, with a "punch list" of items remaining.

Graner said all other schools in the district will start as planned. The school district is following a hybrid model and the school year starts Sept. 8.

k.drelich@theday.com

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