school reopening

Boston Schools Say They'll Maintain 6 Feet of Space in Classrooms When They Reopen

School district officials are likely to ask parents and families if they want to opt-out of in-person instruction

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The Boston Public School system has the largest district in the state, and it says it plans to follow social distancing guidelines -- maintaining six feet of space -- when it reopens.

According to the Boston Globe, a spokesperson for the district said it will go further than the state's minimum guidelines, which call for three feet of space.

It's still unclear exactly how all of that will work and how many students and desks that will allow for in a classroom. District officials are likely to ask parents and families to decide if they want to opt out of in-person instruction, the Globe says.

Schools across Massachusetts have to prepare for three possible learning scenarios in the fall, per the state's reopening guidelines: in-person instruction, remote learning, and a hybrid of the two.

The Boston Latin School is asking parents to let them know if they're unlikely to send children back into classrooms, according to the Globe. District leaders are expected to provide more specifics on its reopening plans at a school committee meeting on July 22 and will also give dates for meetings coming up where parents can provide input.

Last month, the state released its initial guidance for reopening schools.

The state's guidance includes prioritizing students with disabilities, specifically preschool-age children and those with complex needs to have in-person instruction for the upcoming school year.

Now, it is also providing more information on how to support students with disabilities.

The state's guidance includes prioritizing students with disabilities, specifically preschool-age children and those with complex needs to have in-person instruction for the upcoming school year.

The guidance goes on to say that these students should get as much in-person instruction as feasible within the health and safety parameters in effect.

It also says the school or district has to provide interpreters for students who have limited English-proficient parents.

If classroom instruction cannot be provided, students with disabilities have to receive instruction remotely in full or in part through a hybrid model, and must receive special education instruction through an instruction and services model of delivery, which includes services like video-based lessons, instead of relying on packets and assignments.

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