BOSTON — Many Boston Public School families expected in-person learning to ramp-up over the next month after starting with a small number of students last week, but that won’t happen anytime soon.
After the city’s COVID-19 positivity rate rose above 4% over the past week, the district and mayor decided to pause in-person reopening.
“I was looking forward to it making new friends seeing my friends meeting the teachers,” said Valentina Pina, a sophomore at Boston Latin High School.
The daily routine of Chromebooks and Zoom classes is already tiresome.
“I really can’t concentrate,” said Ana Rodriguez.
Boston was among the last school districts to propose a reopening plan to the state over the summer as it faced issues over transportation, building readiness, and concerns from teachers and parents.
The school year began September 21 all remote, with students brought back in small groups depending on COVID-19 health data by age group for roughly a month. The schedule has now been paused, though the COVID-19 positivity rate and Public Health Commission guidance will determine when the phased reopening will resume.
Some students expressed concerns over the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tentatively scheduled for later in the school year.
“I’m worried about the essay especially since last year we didn’t take it because of (the Coronavirus),” said Pina.
Boston 25 News spoke with Harvard Graduate School of Education professor and former Secretary of Education Paul Reville about the new plan for Boston Public Schools. Reville said the following:
“I know how tough a decision this must have been for BPS. They are committed to safety and want to be cautious, but at the same time, they desperately want to provide in-person learning opportunities for their neediest and youngest students. We can’t fault them for leaning toward caution under the current circumstances. That said, there will be consequences in terms of learning loss. I’m sure the system will be redoubling its efforts to compensate for these losses through a variety of initiative that target students most in need.”
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