Yes, there will be recess but social distancing rules will apply. Teachers can distribute and collect papers, but students will have to keep  their own school supplies separate. Chorus and band classes? They are still up in the air one of the many details that remain unknown as Newport schools prepare to potentially resume some form of in-person teaching this fall.

Like all Rhode Island school districts, Newport has devised separate plans for full, partial, and limited in-person learning and expects further guidance from the governor later this month. At a virtual town hall on Tuesday evening, Superintendent Colleen Burns Jermain said the district is developing a phone app that parents will use every morning to verify that each student doesn't have a fever or any COVID symptoms. Remembering to complete this daily form will be crucial for parents and possibly one of the biggest challenges of reopening, she expects.

In this particular year, even if they have the sniffles or they have a cough, we’re going to have to keep them home. And that is something I think that’s going to be a big switch and a change. Usually we’ve asked our children to kind of tough it out. This time, we’re not going to be able to do something like that,” Jermain said.

Jermain also recommended that children practice wearing face masks, which will be required for all ages. Students who refuse to comply may be moved to a distance learning model. According to a survey conducted by the school district, roughly 43% of families plan to resume distance learning regardless of the reopening plan.

Antonia Ayres-Brown can be reached at