(The Center Square) – Gov. Chris Sununu making a push to get more New Hampshire kids back into classrooms with a new directive expanding in-person learning.
On Thursday, Sununu said he will sign an executive order "in coming days" that beginning March 8, all K-12 schools must provide at least two days of in-person learning per week.
Sununu said about 60% of the state's schools are currently learning in a hybrid model, while 40% have in-person learning 5 days a week. Only a few are still fully remote, he said.
"I've long said we need to get our kids back in the classroom, and today's action is a step in the right direction," Sununu posted on social media. "The data is there, the will of the kids is there, the will of the parents is there - and that's what we are doing at the state level."
Sununu said there will be social distancing and "safeguards" in place to protect teachers, staff and students from COVID-19 infections.
"If a school is facing a significant outbreak or has critical staffing issues, they can pause in-person learning for a day or two.
He suggested that there haven't been any major outbreaks in public school in New Hampshire and "only a handful of clusters."
Sununu's directive comes as teachers unions push to be moved to higher up in the priority order to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
"Even without complete teacher vaccination, schools can reopen safely," Sununu posted. "At the state level, we have prioritized our most vulnerable first. Any teacher 65+ or with underlying health conditions can book their vaccine today."