Boston Public Schools announced today it's delaying the return of young elementary-school students to in-school classes another week, from Oct. 22 to Oct. 29 - but says that "High In-Person Priority" students who were already going to school two days a week can now start going four days a week for classes and support services.
The delay means that most students in kindergarten through third grade will remain in front of their screens at home. BPS had originally hoped to have them start going to school again for at least part of the school week yesterday.
The announcement was made in consultation with public health officials and in reviewing data that show an uptick in confirmed positive cases across the entire City of Boston, with the citywide infection rate now being 4.4%. Boston Public Schools (BPS) consults daily with Boston’s public health officials to review data and make decisions about students and staff returning to schools. The delay of one week will allow for the City to continue implementing safety protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to continue reviewing data to make informed decisions about offering in-person learning.
Due in part to the delay of the next phase of students returning to schools, BPHC sent a letter to Superintendent Cassellius noting that schools can now accommodate students with High In-Person priority up to four days a week in schools. The letter notes for the Superintendent: “Given the safety, prevention and public health protocols BPS has adopted and physical facilities preparation that have been put in place, the Boston Public Health Commission has determined that schools can expand offering in-person learning to the high priority students with their teachers and other staff on site to a four-days a week schedule.”
Officials say that parents can keep their children at home for remote learning.