Effective Thursday, all Boston Public Schools are suspending in-person learning due to a jump in COVID-19 positive test results.
The city’s seven-day average COVID-19 positive test rate was reported at 5.7%, an increase from last week’s rate of 4.5%, according to Boston Public Schools (BPS) press release. All students will receive remote education until there are two full weeks of falling infection rates.
“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,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “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.”
BPS officials made the decision in consultation with public health officials, and reviewing data that showed two weeks of increased confirmed positive cases across all of Boston.
All BPS students began the school year remotely on Sept. 21, and families were able to choose if all-remote learning or opt into a hybrid learning model of partly in-person and remote. Students recognized as "High In-Person Priority" were allowed to return for in-person learning on Oct. 1. Highest need students were learning in-person, and will transition to remote learning.
“I am heartbroken that today we have to close our doors to our highest need students. Our families are desperate for these services for their children, many of whom are non-verbal and unable to use technology in the home. We will work with the Boston Teachers Union and remain committed to providing in-person learning opportunities to our students as we are able, as we continue to prioritize our students with the highest needs for in-person learning,” said BPS Superintendent Dr. Brenda Cassellius. "I look forward to the broader Boston community doing its part in complying with the public health guidance and helping us bring this infection rate down so we can open our doors. We need your help. Our children are depending on all of us."
Students with the highest needs will have the option to return in-person learning after the citywide 7-day COVID-19 positive rate is at 5% or below for two consecutive weeks. Once the positive rate is at 4% or lower for two consecutive weeks, BPS will begin phasing in the return of students of in-person learning, beginning with the youngest students. Families will still have the choice whether they want their student to be fully remote.
BPS officials are examining options to provide services to students with complex disabilities, and will provide more info to families in the coming days, said a press release.
All BPS students began the school year remotely on Sept. 21, and families were able to choose if all-remote learning or opt into a hybrid learning model of partly in-person and remote.
For more information on the BPS reopening plan please visit bostonpublicschools.org/