SOMERVILLE, Mass. — Somerville officials have announced all schools in the district will start the 2020 Fall semester with fully remote learning.
In a statement posted to their Facebook page, the city has announced students will start off the school year by learning remotely and will work toward a hybrid model with an eventual return to in-person classes as the pandemic allows.
Given the rising number of cases and the concerning positive test rate trend, Somerville has decided to join other districts in opting for online learning and keeping students, parents and staff safe.
In a statement, city officials acknowledged that in-person learning is the best option for children in school however, given the impending safety concerns and the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, remote learning is, right now, the most feasible option.
In the meantime, the city says they have brought in a team of engineers to assess the ventilation and filtration systems in the school buildings. They are also working to come up with a virus surveillance testing plan for students and staff.
“We do not believe that opening school for in-person instruction without these two important safety components of the school reopening plan in place and resolved is safe or in the best interest of our school community,” the statement said, in part.
The district is also actively exploring other options, such as outdoor solutions as a way for students, staff and families to meet in person.
We are also actively working with our partners who provide youth services in the hope that we can develop a menu of activities outdoors to help support the social emotional needs of students for the remote learning time,” the statement goes on to say.
Parents and students will receive updates, including the new academic calendar and opportunities for outdoor activities for students during remote learning.
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