BPS families preparing for return to classroom Thursday

BOSTON — Families in the state’s largest school district are counting down the hours until students return to the classroom.

All Boston Public School students in grades 1 through 12 will be reporting to class for in-person learning this Thursday, with a few exceptions. Pre-K and kindergarten students will be returning to the classroom on Monday.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius expressed optimism about the school’s safety plans for the upcoming school year during a virtual meeting on Tuesday night.

“Really excited about welcoming our students this Thursday,” said Cassellius. “We acknowledge that there is some anxiety that some students will feel.”

School officials believe mandated indoor masking for students across the state will help keep kids safe. Other protocols reiterated by the district during Tuesday’s meeting included increased vaccine access for students 12 and older, the installation of air quality sensors and new air purifier filters as well as frequent COVID-19 testing.

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Only one in five families have signed a permission slip to receive regular testing at school.

“I’m hoping with all the protocols in place, especially the testing they’re going to be doing, that things will be okay,” said Lashanta Frey, a local mother.

Frey has two kids enrolled at Boston Public Schools, a 4-year-old daughter entering kindergarten and a 14-year-old son entering the ninth grade.

“It’s a little nerve-racking. I know my oldest son is vaccinated so that gives me a little more comfort,” she explained. “Naturally, there’s concern, as far as another spike, since she’s the one who’s going in not vaccinated.”

According to the city’s weekly vaccination report, 47% of children aged 12 to 15 in Boston have been fully vaccinated. The percentage for young adults 16 to 24 is a bit higher at 55%.

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