Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance – Massachusetts Dept. of Education

With this memo, we are providing districts and schools with initial guidance on reopening for the
fall. In this guidance, we:
• Clearly state our goal for this fall: the safe return of as many students as possible to
in-person school settings, to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic
needs. If the current positive public health metrics hold, we believe that by following
critical health requirements, we can safely return to in-person school.
• Provide a clear set of health and safety requirements for in-person learning this fall,
grounded in the most up-to-date scientific literature and discussions with expert
medical advisors. While subject to revision as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and
more scientific evidence becomes available, these requirements will serve as an initial
planning blueprint for the in-person return of students and staff this fall.
• Require districts and schools to prepare a reopening plan that addresses three
possible learning models for this fall: in-person learning with new safety requirements,
a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and the continuation of remote learning (to
ensure continuity of learning throughout the school year, even if circumstances change).
Schools will also need a focused plan for special student populations. Districts and
schools will be required to submit a comprehensive reopening plan to the Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in August that addresses these three
models. More information will follow shortly.
• Outline the future guidance and other supports that DESE will provide in the
coming weeks.

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