Feds look to Boston as model for in-person learning

BOSTON (WHDH) - Mayor Kim Janey and Boston education officials promoted in-person learning as U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited schools Tuesday as part of a push to bring students back to classrooms.

Cardona toured Tynan Elementary School and praised city officials for making in-person learning happen in Boston.

“There is no substitute for in person learning and you’ve shown you can do it,” Cardona said, saying he wanted to take strategies from Boston back to Washington. “We have to hit the reset button on things that didn’t work. We have to expect more of ourselves that we ever did in the past.”

The state granted the Tynan and all Boston schools a waiver that gives them a few extra weeks before they have to bring all students back to the classroom in April.

Principal Leslie Gant said their success with hybrid learning has convinced families to sign up for in-person learning, but officials have to overcome distrust.

“We had to convince families was safe, families that don’t trust the system already,” Gant said. “One of the great things that’s happened is when kids started to come back, so the kids that are home, they see the kids in school and then I’m starting to get the phone calls, ‘We want to come back.’”

Cardona said President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan will send aid to improve schools in underserved communities, and Janey said those funds can’t come soon enough.

“We need that money to insure that we are safely reopening and that we have all the resources we need for our school communities. So, I’m encouraged by [Cardona’s] visit,” Janey said.

After Cardona’s visit in Boston, he headed to Delaware as part of a “Help is Here” school reopening tour.

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