June 25, 2020
Members of the Malden Public Schools Community:
Today, Governor Baker’s Office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall. In the coming days, we will be reviewing the guidance to begin to understand how it impacts what we can do in Malden. We also acknowledge that these initial guidelines do not address every topic and that there will be additional guidance coming throughout the summer.
The full document can be found at http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/return-to-school/guidance.docx, but here are some key components:
- This is the “Initial guidance.” There will be further guidance coming to us in July. Our leadership team and the re-entry advisory task force will need time to review the guidelines.
- The Guidance emphasizes that students returning to school is a primary objective.
- Current medical research supports a safe in-person return to school – with preventive measures in place – as infection and transmission rates are lower for children than adults.
- Preventive measures include masks/face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces
- Masks/face coverings will be required for all students in Grade 2 and above and for all adults; they are recommended for students in Grade 1 and below
- Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, a minimum physical distance of three feet has been established
We are working through these issues And it will require patience and understanding among us all. Districts will need to develop three separate plans – one for return to full in-person instruction with safety requirements, one for full remote learning, and one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning. Based upon the current medical situation, the expectation today is that students will return to full in-person instruction in September; however, that is subject to change based upon how the medical situation develops.
We acknowledge that there are likely to be more questions than answers at this time, and we will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks and months. We also encourage you to read the full document, and if you have questions to please send them to our dedicated email address: email@example.com
Thank you for your patience and understanding,