Boston delays next phase of school reopening plan as new COVID cases continue to climb

BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Public Schools on Friday announced that it’s pushing back the next phase of its reopening plan as new coronavirus cases continue to rise in the city.

The city is delaying the start of Phase III of in-person learning for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 3 until no sooner than Oct. 29, according to Superintendent Dr. Brenda Cassellius. Students in those grades were slated to begin a hybrid form of in-person learning on Oct. 22.

Students with high in-person priority who had previously been in classrooms two days per week can begin four days a week of in-person instruction and support services in schools beginning next week, Cassellius said.

“In keeping with our commitment to a cautious approach to school reopening, and being guided by a continual evaluation of public health data, we have made the decision to again delay the next phase of in-person learning,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement.

Walsh added, “The health and safety of students, faculty and staff remains a top priority, and while we are confident that the preparations we have made in our school buildings make it a safe environment for in-person learning for a limited number of students, we are taking the necessary time before we bring back the next wave of students.”

The coronavirus infection rate in Boston has now reached 4.4 percent, public health data indicates.

The updated phase-in schedule is follows:

  • Oct. 22: Students with high in-person priority begin four days a week (based on family preference)
  • Oct. 29 & Nov. 2: K0 – Grade 3 (Cohort B & A)
  • Nov. 5 & 9: Grades 4 – 8 – secondary schools begin 6 – 8 (Cohort B & A)
  • Nov. 16 & 19: Grades 9 – 12 (Cohort A & B)

All students started the school year with remote learning on Sept. 21.

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