BOSTON (CBS) — What will reopening look like for Massachusetts schools this fall? Gov. Charlie Baker indicated at a Friday news conference that he doesn’t want all schools in the state to be starting fully remote.

School districts are being asked to prepare for three potential scenarios: A full reopening, remote-only learning or a hybrid model. Baker said the vast majority of communities in Massachusetts have coronavirus transmission rates low enough to allow for in-person learning.

“To say everybody should go remote. . . the facts don’t support it, the data doesn’t support it and the science doesn’t support it,” Baker said.

The CDC says “children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults” based on available evidence. But the state’s two largest teachers’ unions are calling for remote-only learning across Massachusetts because of the uptick in coronavirus cases and concerns about social distancing, access to coronavirus testing and ventilation.

“It’s become clear in the last few weeks that an in-person return to schools would unacceptably put the health and safety of our students, their families, and educators at risk,” the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts said in a statement earlier this week. “Parents, grandparents, and educators – maybe even students – would die.”

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Baker argued that remote-only learning in the fall will present new challenges not seen in the spring.

“When we went to remote back in March, all those kids and all those teachers knew each other,” he said. “For anyone who opens remote straight out the gate, you’re talking about a bunch of kids and a bunch of teachers who won’t know each other at all.”

Baker said he’s especially concerned about kids in kindergarten through third grade, who he said are “least likely to be infected in the first place,” not learning how to read.

“Trying to teach those kids how to read remotely. . .I mean that’s not how you teach kids how to read,” he said.



Comments (6)
  1. Christian LaSalle says:

    Last time I checjed, Baker did not have a teaching certificate I have 5 a nd 23yrs. in the classroom. Therefore: He can go pound sand!!!

    1. At says:

      Baker is a POS, Chamber of Commerce, Right Wing Awful. He is not an educator, cares about business, wants to please his Republicans. All the while — too scared to meet in person. Still meeting remotely himself, still not going into restaurants. The State House is still operating remotely. But the coward wants to open schools, but blame party goers for any spike in cases. Lock him up.

  2. Christian LaSalle says:

    Checked, that is.

  3. Mary Martin says:

    Their are towns in Hampshire County , MA that HAD decided to at least go with the hybrid model (i.e. granby , ma) until the governor started scaring everyone with new “outbreaks” and new measures to stop the “uptick” reported all over the news . This scared the heck out of parents and school committees , which then reversed their decisions and decided to go all remote instead. Granby and South Hadley, towns in Hampshire County which have had only 128 deaths out of a population of 160,800 , 92 which were in long term care facilities, making their positivity rate .07%, based 128, or .02% based on the 35 cases that were not in long term facilities. Yet they have decided to go remote!! The problem is that the governor needs to make the decision to REQUIRE these schools with such extremely low positivity rates to resume IN PERSON learning. Giving them a choice to go remote is an easy way out for these towns. The remote learning was a total failure . !!

  4. Christian LaSalle says:

    Schools DO NOT and CANNOT function without teachers. Just try to. MTA and AFT hold the
    cards. We are NOT dying for your children. Not what we signed up for. Remote learning CAN work. Blame the Spring debacle on Riley AND Baker.

  5. Mary Martin says:

    Unfortunately , their are a lot of teachers who have enjoyed staying home and collecting a paycheck for doing very little. Why is it that nearly every private and parochial schools in my vicinity (01040) is returning to school in person in September ??????? (easy- no unions ) I believe that parents who don’t want their kids back in the classroom should keep them home and the parents who do want to send them back should be able to make that choice.

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