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Norwich Free Academy to remain in fully remote learning next week

Norwich — Norwich Free Academy will remain in fully remote learning through Jan. 29 because of the continuing high number of COVID-19 cases in the greater Norwich area, Head of School Brian Kelly said Friday.

NFA had been planning on returning to hybrid learning on Monday, Jan. 25.

“Given the continued number of positive COVID cases in our community, and the burden it puts on our ability to safely and effectively provide adequate staffing, Norwich Free Academy will remain in remote learning for at least one additional week,” Kelly wrote in a message to staff and parents Friday.

The school hopes to return to hybrid learning on Monday, Feb. 1.

On Jan. 15, Kelly reported the NFA community had 16 additional cases during the preceding week. On Friday, he said NFA has had an additional 19 cases this week.

Norwich remains a hot spot for COVID-19, with a case rate of 110 per 100,000 population and a positive test rate over 10%. Other NFA partner districts also currently are hot spots. Kelly said he based the decision on remote learning on health metrics and “NFA’s reality” in terms of experiences.

“Like you, I am frustrated with this situation,” he wrote. “I understand the importance of our students being on campus as often as possible, especially as we begin our second semester on Monday.”

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