District continues to support students during school closure


Olivia Battles

The rotunda parking lot lies empty on March 24 as faculty and students remain at home. Algonquin will be closed until May 4 due to COVID-19 concerns.

Due to the threat of COVID-19, Northborough-Southborough public schools will be closed through May 4, per a directive from Governor Charlie Baker that applies to all public and private elementary and secondary schools in the state.

To supplement the loss of educational time, the Northborough-Southborough school district has chosen to implement NSBORO-CONNECT, which allows teachers to provide learning activities through the internet.

“NSBORO-CONNECT is designed to help students stay connected to their teachers and provide optional learning opportunities to help students maintain their skills and stay engaged in learning,” Superintendent Greg Martineau said in an interview via email.

At Algonquin, teachers rely primarily on Canvas to provide learning experiences. Since NSBORO-CONNECT is optional, none of the work is for a grade.

Despite the closure, the last day of school for the 2019-2020 academic year will be June 23. As of now, no changes have been made to the last day of school for seniors, which is set to be May 22. However, this might change as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

“All options are still open at this time,” Martineau said in his email.

To aid families of school-aged children, the district is offering two free bagged lunches available for pick-up on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The lunches can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Algonquin for Northborough families or Trottier for Southborough families until Wednesday, March 25. After that point, lunches will be delivered to families.

The district is also loaning devices for students who do not have access to technology at home. Additionally, those without access to the internet will be given free Wi-Fi access.

Martineau underscores the importance of social or physical distancing during this time.

“Social or physical distancing is the only way we can slow this virus down,” Martineau said in his email. “We need to do it now to protect ourselves, the vulnerable and those that can’t protect themselves.”

This article was updated on March 25 to reflect the fact that the school closure was extended from April 6 to May 4.