BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Schools will not be reopening with all students in the classroom this fall. Instead, schools are focused on their remote and hybrid learning plans, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday.
“Keeping our kids safe is the number one priority. We’re taking all of their needs into account. We’re exploring every single option for what that looks like. We’re not rushing to make decisions, because we don’t know what the data is going to be a month from now. We quite honestly don’t know what the data is going to be next week. We’re planning for every scenario. So no matter what happens, all of our students can learn in a safe environment for the upcoming school year,” said Walsh.
The mayor said there was still no set start date for school, he hopes it is in September.
Parents will have an option to keep their children home for fully remote learning if they choose.
“Safety is our number one priority, we are not walking away from that,” the mayor said. “Let’s not make an issue out of school opening. Let’s think about how to reopen schools safely if we can and if we can’t reopen schools safely in September, at some point we need to reopen schools safely. But this should not become an issue. We are not these other states where they are seeing surges and quite honestly, public employees and people are being completely ignored by governments in these other states. You are not being ignored here in Boston.
Superintendent Dr. Brenda Cassellius said, “We’re all reinventing education, and we have to – because our children don’t get a rewind. There’s no do-over.”
“What we do as a village right now will directly affect whether we can bring our children back safely. They are counting on all of us, right now, to get this right and to do our part. So I’m asking all of Boston to help us bring our children back to school safely. And to do so, we need you to continue doing a few things. Please adhere to the health guidance. Wear your masks when you leave home. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid large gathering and please practice social distancing.”
A survey will go to parents asking if they want a hybrid or fully remote learning plan for their child. Students won’t lose their spot in school if they opt to go fully remote.
“It is clear: the best place for children to learn is at school, in a classroom, with their teacher. We will only bring them back if it’s safe to do so,” said Cassellius.
“I know there are parents that are concerned. I know there are teachers that are concerned… I know there are nurses that are concerned. We’re listening to everybody,” said Walsh.
Since schools closed, BPS has distributed more than 32,000 Chromebooks and nearly 1.4 million meals to students.