Mayor Walsh and School Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said today they are continuing to look at a "hybrid" school re-opening, in which students would split days between in-school and at-home learning, but that parents will have the chance to opt out completely and stick with remote learning over Covid-19 concerns.
At a City Hall press conference today, they said that students would not lose their place at their preferred schools if their parents decide to keep them home.
Walsh said the final decision will be a difficult one, balancing both public-health issues and the fact that not all parents can afford to keep their kids at home.
He said, however, that Boston is in a far better place than other cities to be able to even consider re-opening schools, even if part time for students. "Today, we are not Florida. Today, we are not Texas. Today, we are not California. Today we are in a very different place [than those states]."
But Walsh and Cassellius added that, based on the experience with at-home learning this past spring, they realize that some students simply need to be in their classrooms, with their teachers, to learn effectively.
"Many students have struggled in this new way of learning," especially older students, Cassellius said.
Cassellius added that at-home learning, despite the 32,000 Chromebooks and 1.4 million student meals BPS has provided, has highlighted and exacerbated some racial and ethnic inequities.