Good evening -
I am writing today to follow up on the new structured learning time regulations outlined on Monday by Commissioner Riley of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The plan outlines what districts must do to ensure a full return to in-person learning Monday through Friday beginning on April 5, 2021. Here are some highlights of the plan:
These regulations are legally binding. Any district that does not comply with the regulatory requirements or receive a waiver by April 5 will be required to make up any missed structured learning time.
Because the regulations have the force of the law, a School Committee vote is not necessary because full-time in-person learning will be the required model.
Social distancing requirements in classrooms will now be at a minimum of three feet; eating spaces will remain at six feet.
Masks will continue to be required for all staff and students in grades K-12.
Students can still learn remotely and have their hours count towards structured learning time in two exception cases:
Parents/guardians may choose to have their students learn remotely through the end of this school year, and the learning hours for these students will continue to count towards structured learning time.
Individual students may need to isolate or quarantine and therefore learn remotely if they are symptomatic, diagnosed with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone who tests positive.
We are fortunate that we are currently in the four-day in-person model, as some districts have not been in person at all this year! We will not be looking at a staggered return as outlined by the Commissioner. The plan is that on April 5, all students who choose the in-person option will return Monday through Friday.
As always, I will keep you apprised of any changes, updates, etc. In the meantime, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 267-4150 x 4901.
Cheryl A. Clarke, Ed.D.