Deadline day for high school students’ return

ANDOVER, Mass. — Today marks the deadline for high school students to return to in-person learning across Massachusetts. They are the final group to return to physical classes.

In Andover, desks were spread apart outside of the front door for some students to take part in classes outdoors to maintain physical distance.

Interim Superintendent of Schools Claudia Bach released a statement to families on May 14, saying:

“We are thrilled to welcome back 1,500 high school students to a full return to in-person learning on Monday, May 17. This highly anticipated day comes after a tremendous amount of planning and care by the high school leadership team and the entire staff. I am proud of the hard work and commitment they have shown to make this day happen. I am also grateful for your support as we prepare to navigate the many changes that the return to school will bring. I truly believe that if we support one another and are united around our common goal, we will be able to provide all of our students with a robust and fulfilling end to their school year.”

—  Interim Superintendent of Schools Claudia Bach

Brockton, one of the largest districts in Massachusetts, returned Monday after their waiver to start later was denied by the state. One parent of a Brockton student told Boston 25 News on Sunday that her child won’t have much time to learn in school, but felt any time back would be useful.

The return to school comes at a time when more students are suddenly eligible for vaccinations with 12- to 15-year-old residents added to the list last week, and low levels of transmission in Massachusetts in recent weeks. Districts also have access to state pooled testing, and their own in-person learning models that were formed last summer.

Massachusetts data shows the percentage of people reported to have COVID-19 (in school cases) among students is .08 percent and .04 percent for staff for the week of May 6 to May 12.

In Andover, the district announced it will hold a vaccination clinic at Wood Hill Middle School auditorium on Tuesday with appointments scheduled 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.