Last week Governor Charles Baker’s office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall.
According to Baker’s office and DESE, 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.
The new guidelines include preventive measures like 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 also recommended for students in Grade 1 and below but not required
Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, a minimum physical distance of three feet has been established for all schools.
In a statement from the Massachusetts Parents United founding president Keri Rodrigues was proud to have five of its parent members participating in the state’s Return to School Working Group to help bring the important perspective of parents in several Gateway Cities like Boston to the table.
“While the recommendations issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) did not address all of the needs and concerns of parents and families, we do feel that some progress has been made,” said Rodrigues. “We are grateful that the perspective of families of color, families who are English Language Learners, and families of color with children with special needs were included in these conversations where we could demand these guidelines be based in equity for all children.”