Initial reopening plans for Mass. school districts due Friday

BILLERICA, Mass. — For weeks, school districts have been pouring through state guidance for reopening in the fall and on Friday, the initial plan is due.

Districts must submit their preliminary plans to the state for three scenarios: in-person, remote, and hybrid learning for the start of the school year.

“The first deadline on July 31 is a broad brush, August 10 is the deadline that I’m a little more worried about,” said Tim Piwowar, the superintendent at Billerica Public Schools, which has an enrollment of just under 5,000 students.

The district has used state guidelines to prepare its proposals, re-formed classrooms for physical distancing of six feet, four feet, and three feet, which is the minimum allowed according to the state.

On Thursday night, dozens of parents and students gathered in Winchester to call for a full return to in-person learning. Winchester, like many other districts in the state, has been considering a hybrid or fully remote option for the start of the school year.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association is calling for remote learning statewide until school buildings can be retrofitted with better air flow and circulation systems.

Friday, when the initial plan is due, is a chance for districts to show the state which model they’re leaning towards.

Districts are required to send a comprehensive plan to the state on Aug. 10, as well as share them with the public.

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