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Valley Tech’s Return to School Plan Allows for Both In-Person & Distance Learning Experiences

Sep 20, 2020 01:00PM ● By Pamela Johnson
UPTON – After a summer of strategic planning to design their return to school plan, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School administrators, teachers, instructors, and support staff had to mask their excitement as the new school year began. Among the more noticeable precautions in place were the mandatory face coverings and hand sanitizing stations at school entrances as BVT kicked off the school year with its Freshmen Orientation Days on Thursday, August 27th, and Friday, August 28th.

The in-person orientation held over two days to reduce capacity, with only half of the freshman class scheduled to attend a full day of school on their assigned date. That allowed the students and staff to get to know each other while practicing BVT's Return to School COVID-19 Guidelines and reviewing transportation procedures with buses running their scheduled routes. Students met their academic and vocational teachers, enjoyed a complimentary lunch, and familiarized themselves with the campus as they walked through their academic schedules, and visited their exploratory shops.

Monday, August 31st began an in-person transition week to help all students and staff focus on the latest standards of operations, health procedures, and learning expectations required to attend school during a pandemic. The week began with seniors attending on Monday, followed by the junior, sophomore, and freshman classes reporting on each consecutive day, which allowed for one transition day per grade level.

"The ongoing pandemic has presented challenges for all educators. I am proud of our dedicated team and their Pentagon level of precision planning and preparation. Through which we have diligently designed a plan that works for our career technical teachers and students in their hands-on shop settings," said Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick. "Our comprehensive Return to School Plan included orientation days for our freshmen and a transition week. The plan is an essential blueprint for our entire 2020-21 school year that utilizes a six-tiered operation model allowing for planning and predictability for both in-person and distance learning experiences with a hybrid approach."

BVT will use a six-tiered operation model that is sustainable by design, with the ability to move from tier to tier as required. The operational tier level 1-6 will be determined by the most current information from the State of Massachusetts on phased reopening guidelines and by the BVT administration, who are continuously monitoring the health and safety of students and staff within their daily operations.

Operating under Tier 2, the first day of classes for all BVT students is Tuesday, September 8th. On a rotating two-week basis, one grade level will be on campus for in-person learning under safe conditions that are fully compliant with all guidelines, precautions, and protocols while the other three grade levels participate in distance learning.

For more detailed information about BVT’s Return to School Plan and tier levels, please visit

About Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT):
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton, and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, BVT creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of rigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills. The school’s website is

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