Make Way for Education

Mass. Protesters Will Call for In-Person Schooling

The event outside the State House is intended to call on Gov. Charlie Baker and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop a "transparent, metrics-based" guide for school districts to reopen in person

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Parents who want to see Massachusetts schools return to in-person learning this fall plan to gather outside the State House Wednesday for a "Make Way for Education" protest.

Organized by the group Bring Kids Back MA, the event is intended to call on Gov. Charlie Baker and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop a "transparent, metrics-based" guide for local school districts to reopen in person.

"While DESE says they asked districts to prioritize in-person learning, the reality is that in order to meet the DESE guidelines, most districts say they cannot offer a full in-person return to school," organizers said in a Facebook event posting. "Further, many districts are also implementing restrictions beyond those recommended by DESE with no clear data to support the why…which, in turn, make an in-person return to school impossible in the fall."

School districts have until Friday to submit their reopening plans to the state. Districts have been directed to prepare plans for three different models of instruction -- in-person, remote, or a blend of the two -- with school committees voting on the model their community will use to start the year. Approaches vary by community.

Norfolk Superintendent Ingrid Allardi announced Monday evening that her district would adopt a hybrid model "out of an abundance of caution," with students in grades 1-6 spending two days a week in the classroom and learning remotely the other three.

Somerville officials have announced they plan to start the year entirely with remote learning, citing the need to develop a COVID-19 surveillance testing plan and assess their buildings' ventilation systems.

Copyright State House News Service
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