Boston Public Schools announces updated safety protocols, timeline for return to in-person learning

Boston Public Schools announces updated safety protocols, timeline for return to in-person learning

BOSTON — Boston Public Schools and the Boston Teachers Union announced on Monday updates to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year, according to a release from Boston Public Schools.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius and Boston Teachers Union President Jessica Tang announced an agreement between the union and the district to extend health, safety and staffing protocols.

The protocols and standards are an extension of those originally implemented to all 32 schools currently open, according to the release. Safety measures and protocols already in place will continue at schools that open in the future through the end of the school year in June.

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Boston Public Schools, the Boston Teachers Union and the Boston Public Health Commission will implement health and safety protocols including, but not limited to:

  • Limiting the number of students and staff in a building at once
  • Using creative scheduling and staffing on hybrid learning
  • Providing air purifiers in classrooms, offices and common areas or HVAC filters in schools with those systems
  • Offering access to free COVID-19 testing for teachers on site or near their school
  • Continuing to report all positive confirmed cases in schools to the school community and public

“I look forward to welcoming more students and teachers back into school buildings, while also remaining committed to the continued success of remote learning for families that prefer that option,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

They also announced an updated timeline for students returning to in-person learning.

  • Week of Feb. 1: Students with high in-person priority
  • Week of March 1: Grades K to 3
  • Week of March 15: Grades 4 to 8
  • Week of March 29: Grades 9 to 12

According to Boston Public Schools, students recognized as high in-person priority include:

  • High needs/Level 4 students with disabilities
  • English Learners who are EL levels 1 and 2
  • Students who are in the care of the Department of Children and Families
  • Students who are experiencing homelessness
  • Students with limited or interrupted formal education
  • Students identified by their school’s Student Support Team (SST) as requiring additional in-person schooling

If necessary, each of these phases may be postponed by one to two weeks based on the public health environment, according to Boston Public Schools.

The tentative timeline for returning students whose families have chosen hybrid learning is:

  • Feb. 1: All students who have qualified for high in-person priority
  • March 1 and March 4: Grades K to 3 (Group A and B)
  • March 15 and March 18: Grades 4 to 8 (Group A and B)
  • March 29 and April 1: Grades 9 to 12 (Group A and B)