Reading prep school switches to remote learning after dozens of students attend party

READING, MASS. (WHDH) - A preparatory school in Reading that reopened last week with a hybrid learning model will now switch to remote-only learning after dozens of students attended a party without taking proper coronavirus-prevention measures, according to a letter issued by a school official.

Over the weekend, about 40 students from Austin Preparatory School’s Upper School attended a gathering that, “was not compliant with either the COVID-19 related orders of the Commonwealth or Austin Prep’s Covenant,” according to Head of School James Hickey.

“While Austin Prep has no information at this point that any of the individuals who were involved in the off-campus gathering have a confirmed case of COVID-19, the failure on the part of some students to follow the Governor’s executive orders and Austin Prep’s Covenant has potentially increased risk to the entire Austin Prep community,” Hickey wrote.

The remote teaching will be utilized exclusively for the next 14 days and the campus will be closed to all faculty through Sept. 28.

Barring any developments, hybrid learning will resume on Sept. 29.

“On a personal note, it was heartwarming to see students back on campus after a six-month hiatus and now it’s beyond disappointing that Austin Prep’s return to campus has been derailed by students who made selfish choices while they were off-campus,” Hickey wrote.

Austin Prep has reported an unrelated case of COVID-19 within the school community.

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