NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New Bedford is poised to have all of the city’s K-12 students back in the classroom by Friday.
New Bedford Superintendent Thomas Anderson said while they’ve had their challenges, 9,000 students have been learning in-person all year long. At one point, the school district had the highest number of students learning in person statewide.
The school year started with a mix of in-person, hybrid and virtual learning, but with almost a year of planning and preparations, all of the schools in New Bedford are finally equipped to handle having all of their students back.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved mitigation three weeks before Massachusetts’ goal of April 28.
Anderson said of the 13,000 kids that attend New Bedford schools, around 2,000 will remain at home.
“If that’s what’s worked out best for them, we’re still supporting them with that for the rest of the year,” he said.
With the help of students, teachers and parents, the majority of their plan has gone off without a hitch, including athletics and other events, according to Anderson.
But one of the biggest goals of the year, he said, was to have a level playing field for all students.
“People talk about equity and access, and we wanted to ensure that we’re providing our students access,” he explained.
Through the district’s one-to-one approach, every student has had a personal Chromebook to use this year.
Anderson said he’s heard from several students, many of which are happy to be heading back to school, but the district is still working out the details on whether they will have major events, such as proms and graduations, this year.