Students and staff attending Boston Public Schools are returning to an all-remote learning model, starting today, the Associated Press reports.
Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius announced in a statement Wednesday that the rise in Covid-19 cases in the community was the reason for shutting down all in-person instruction in the district, which serves about 54,000 students in 125 school buildings.
Ms Cassellius said she was “heartbroken” over the effect the re-closing would have on students with special needs and on those who do not have access to internet and other support services except when they are in school. “Our families are desperate for these services for their children, many of whom are nonverbal and unable to use technology in the home,” she was quoted as saying.
The Boston Teachers Union leadership wanted to return to an all-remote model but did acknowledge that e-learning would be difficult on certain students.
“However, we remain very concerned about the impact on the learning experience of high-needs students,” the union said in a statement. “We continue to advocate for a safe and sustainable plan that safely provides the additional services that many of our special education, [English Learner], and other students continue to need.”