The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is expected to vote today on emergency regulations granting the state education commissioner authority to determine when hybrid and remote models may no longer count towards required student learning time hours.
Board members will hear from health experts and Commissioner Jeffrey Riley before casting their votes Friday afternoon.
Riley has previously said the remote option will be available through the end of this school year, but perhaps not beyond then.
Under the proposed regulations, if Riley were to conclude, after consulting with state health officials and medical experts, that students may safely attend classes in an in-person setting then, “after providing written notice to the Board, I may notify districts that they may no longer use hybrid or remote learning models to meet the minimum school year and structured learning time requirements set forth in the regulations,” according to the memo.
Arlington is one of a dozen school districts whose superintendent signed onto a letter urging DESE to work with school districts to come up with a more concrete plan for a return to school, including scheduling vaccinations for school staff.
The superintendents say they lack guidance from the state on the 3 feet versus 6 feet rules for unmasked activities like lunch, special education, and possible conflicts with union bargaining agreements.
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