EDIT TO ORIGINAL POST:
I imagined this post to be about information sharing — getting what a state agency said out to constituents so that everyone has the same information, BUT I fear that it’s been misinterpreted as my endorsement of this information. Everyone learns in their job and this is a learning moment for me. For contrast to DESE, please also see the MTA’s demands for re-opening which I DO align with.
We’re receiving a great many questions and concerns about the state’s plan for re-opening K-12 schools this fall — from students, parents, teachers, administrators, school committee members and others are feeling anxious about the uncertainty of these difficult times. Please know that my team and I are very engaged with Senate colleagues and the administration on behalf of constituents.
Please find below links to the various guidance documents that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has issued to school districts to help them prepare for three possible options for this fall: (1) all students back in-person in schools, (2) all students learning remotely, or (3) a hybrid model that combines some in-person learning with some remote learning or different models for different age students or special populations of students.
- Fall School Re-opening
- Special Education
- Responding to COVID-19 Events in School, on the Bus, or in the Community
We expect that DESE will continue to issue further guidance in the coming weeks. For more on DESE protocols and guidance, and to stay up to date on upcoming changes, please visit COVID-19 Information and Resources – Student and Family Support (SFS).
DESE has requested that all school districts submit their plans for each of the three possible options to the Department by the end of July. Final decisions will be made at the local level for each school district, and are expected to take into consideration a variety of local factors and conditions, including most importantly the spread of the virus in each community.
DESE has made various funding sources available to our school districts and municipalities for COVID-related expenses, technology, etc. However, the level of funding for Chapter 70 in FY21 — and whether additional federal dollars will be forthcoming for school districts — are adding to the uncertainty and are critical factors in determining if/how schools can safely re-open this fall.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if my team and I can be helpful.