June 25, 2020
Dear WPS Staff, Parents and Families,
Governor Baker’s Office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released their initial guidance about reopening schools for this Fall. We applaud the level of thought and care that went into the development of this guidance.
Over the coming days, we will be reviewing the guidance to begin to understand how it impacts what we can do in Worcester. We also acknowledge that these initial guidelines do not address every topic and that there will be additional guidance coming throughout the summer.
Included here are some key components:
- 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 to six feet has been established.
Districts will need to develop three separate plans - one for return to full in-person instruction with safety requirements, one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning, and lastly full remote learning. Based upon the current medical situation, the expectation is that students will return to full in-person instruction in August where possible; however, that is subject to change based upon how the medical situation develops.
We will be sending a survey to all parents within the next few weeks to inquire about your plans for sending your children to school in August. The information needed will request your intentions for in-person, continuation of remote learning, technology/internet access, technical support, transportation needs and need for food assistance.
We acknowledge that there are likely to be more questions. We will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for your patience and understanding.