LACONIA — School district officials had hoped to be able to have students return to full-time face-to-face instruction by September 30, but that will not be possible, Superintendent Steve Tucker said Wednesday.

He said 21 percent of students are now taking classes remotely.

The rest are doing face-to-face instruction every other day. On the days when they are not in school, these students are doing assignments on their computers at home.

“We’re not sure when everybody can return to full-time face-to-face,” Tucker said in an interview. “We hope to go back at some point.”

He explained why the target date has slipped.

“We would have trouble maintaining the required physical distancing of 3- to 6-feet. We also have staffing and transportation concerns. It’s been a challenge.”

He acknowledged that there will be frustration with the news that schools will not be able to return to normal operations anytime soon.

“There are families who absolutely wanted to have them back on September 30.”

On the positive side, no COVID-19 cases have been reported among students, faculty or staff. Nobody is under quarantine.

There are about 2,000 students in the district. Initially, there was difficulty finding enough teachers for the 21 percent who opted to learn remotely, but Tucker said this hurdle has largely been cleared.

Remote learning focuses on core subjects. Some of the students who are learning remotely are doing so because of underlying health conditions that could make them more susceptible to the coronavirus.

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