Massachusetts school officials seek to bring back “as many students as possible to in-person school settings” in the fall, but the classrooms will look different with schools being required to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has put together its Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance, which is expected to be discussed by Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday.
The plan, of which the Boston Globe obtained a copy, says getting students back into the classroom is the goal. Education and medical officials weighed the risks of COVID-19 as well as the impact of keeping students at home. According the Globe, the report concluded “there is no substitute for in-person instruction.”
Watertown Superintendent Dede Galdston told the School Committee that DESE officials told districts they should prepare for a variety of scenarios, which could include in-person teaching, online instruction or a mix.
Under the social distancing guidelines, according to the Boston Globe, adults will have to wear masks, desks have to be at least 3 feet apart (but ideally would be 6 feet apart), and students will eat breakfast and lunch in their classrooms.
There is no cap on the number of students in a classroom. Students will not be tested for COVID-19, nor will they have their temperatures checked when they get to school, according to the Globe.
See more details in the Boston Globe story by clicking here.