All Mass. elementary schools must fully reopen Monday

School Updates

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Distance learning is over for most elementary schools in Massachusetts.

With schools closed on Good Friday, the next time elementary school students have class will be back in the classroom.

Education Commissioner Jeff Riley set the deadline of April 5 for elementary schools to be required to be back fully in the classroom. About 90% of districts will be doing so, with 10% getting waivers.

Two of the biggest districts are Fall River and New Bedford, and neither requested waivers.

In New Bedford, at least seven elementary schools phased in their full return at the start of March. Now they are focused on the new step of phasing in middle schoolers to full in-person learning with a target date of April 9 to be fully back.

That date is well ahead of the state deadline for middle schools to return fully by April 28.

“Our increase will not look the same for all elementary or middle schools and in some schools, classrooms will be different,” New Bedford Superintendent Thomas Anderson said.

“Schools should not be compared to one another in how they address their logistics,” he continued. “For example, available classroom space in schools vary based on several factors including new configurations, cabinet space, desk sizes, wall space, equipment, etc.”

In Westport, their elementary school has been in full in-person learning since the Fall.

Most others have been practicing a hybrid model of cohorts coming into the classroom for two days and the remainder of distance learning at home.

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