Metro, Boston

Boston Public Schools Suspend In-Person Learning

Boston Public Schools announced that students will be fully remote beginning Thursday due to an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate in the City of Boston. 

The city’s seven-day positivity rate was 5.7 percent as of Wednesday, which is an increase from last week’s seven-day positivity rate of 4.5 percent. 

“We have said all along that we will only provide in-person learning for students if the data and public health guidance supports it, and this new data shows that we are trending in the wrong direction,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the metrics and work towards our goal of welcoming students back into our classrooms, learning among their peers, supported and educated by our dedicated staff.”

Students will remain fully remote until the infection rate falls for two weeks. When the city’s seven-day positivity rate is below 5 percent for two consecutive weeks, students with the highest need, such as students with disabilities, may choose to return to in-person learning. 

When the positivity rate is below 4 percent for two consecutive weeks, BPS will restart the phase return of students for in-person learning. 

“BPS remains committed to providing in-person learning opportunities to our students as soon as it is appropriate to do so, and will continue to prioritize our students with the highest needs for in-person learning,” BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said in the statement. “I know our students and teachers have been making great progress since in-person learning started on October 1 and that schools and families were looking forward to a return to school buildings. But we must do our part to slow the spread and keep our students, families, and staff safe.”

All students began the school year fully remote on Sept. 21. Students deemed high priority for in-person learning, such as students with disabilities, began attending in-person classes two days a week on Oct. 1.

BPS announced on Oct. 16 that the next phase of in-person learning would be delayed by one week due to the increase in the positivity rate in the City of Boston. 

In this updated schedule, high-priority students were to begin four days of in-person learning per week on Oct. 22. Students in kindergarten through third grade were to begin in-person learning on Oct. 29 and Nov. 2. Students in fourth through eighth grade were to begin in person Nov. 5 and Nov. 9. Students in ninth through 12th grade were to begin in-person learning Nov. 16 and Nov. 19.

Featured Image by Johnathan Ye/Heights Senior Staff

October 22, 2020

The Heights is an independent student newspaper that relies partly on donations to continue its award-winning coverage of Boston College and beyond. During College Media Madness, consider supporting the 501(c)3 nonprofit.