Below are answers to frequently asked questions our families, students and community members may have regarding the Malden Public Schools’ plans for the 2020-21 school year. If you have any additional questions, please contact us.
What will school schedules look like? The district is now working with the Malden Education Association regarding the details of our school schedules once we begin our hybrid learning model. It is our goal to have schedules resemble a “normal” school day as much as possible.
Will my child’s teacher change? If we are able to secure live streaming, we believe we will be able to keep most of our students with the same teacher.
What health and safety measures will be in place? All K-2 students and staff will be required to wear masks, covering the face and nose, at all times while in our school buildings. We will also provide for social distancing and frequent hand-washing opportunities. Our custodial staff will be cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces throughout the school day.
When will students come to school and when will they learn remotely? Through our hybrid model, we will have half our students in Cohort A and half in Cohort B. Cohort A will attend in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, while Cohort B will attend in-person classes on Thursdays and Fridays. Students who elect to remain remote will be home all five days. Wednesdays will continue to be remote learning days for all students and staff. School buildings will be closed and thoroughly disinfected on these days.
How will cohorts be determined? Our principals are building cohorts that make the most sense for their building schedules; they are examining sibling lists, services, and student needs to inform the creation of cohorts. Notification of cohort assignments will be on or before January 27th.
How can I request that my child continue with 100% remote learning? We will continue to offer a full remote learning option for students whose families request it. To discuss this option, please contact your child’s school office as soon as possible.
How will meals work with the hybrid model? In December, 2020, MPS became eligible for the Community Eligibility Provision program from the state. As a result, all students will receive free lunch. Meals will likely be served in classrooms or other spaces to allow for proper social distancing.
Will lunch be served in school? We will serve lunch in school adhering to all the protocols and safety guidelines.
Will I see a reduction in P-EBT benefits if my child is engaged in hybrid learning? If you choose hybrid learning for your student, the amount awarded in P-EBT benefits will decline from $117.20 to $58.60. This decline will not take place if your student remains in remote learning.
Will my child be required to get the flu vaccine? The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is removing the requirement for flu vaccination for attendance in childcare/preschool, primary, secondary and postsecondary education. Preliminary data show that this has been a mild flu season to date, presumably as people have received their seasonal flu vaccine and have been adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing due to COVID-19. Given the intensive Commonwealth-wide efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccination, DPH wants to alleviate the burden to obtain flu vaccination and focus on continuing our COVID -19 vaccination efforts. DPH continues to strongly recommend that everyone age six months and older receive their seasonal flu vaccine each year.
Will there be after-school programs after February 1? At this point, we cannot implement before- and after-school programs due to health and safety concerns. It is our hope that we can resume these programs before the end of the school year. This will depend on the status of COVID-19 in our community.
Is antigen testing available? Yes, we now have BinaxNow antigen testing available. This is a very accurate test for people who are symptomatic or believe they may have COVID-19. The test is available in each school’s nurse’s office and merely requires consent from the parent/guardian to administer it to students. The results are available in 15 minutes.
Is there any additional testing available? Malden Public Schools has applied to be part of the Governor’s offer to do “pool testing” in the schools. We will update the community once that information is available.