Walsh: BPS Parents Can Opt For Fully-Remote Learning In Fall

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — No matter what the final plan looks like for reopening Boston schools in the Fall, Mayor Walsh said parents will be able to choose to keep their child's learning fully remote.

On Friday, Mayor Walsh said his administration is "not rushing to make decisions" about when or how to safely reopen Boston Public Schools, but they are planning for every scenario.

"We know we will not start the year with all in-person learning because it’s not safe," said Walsh. "Right now we’re focused on all remote learning, and a hybrid model for the start of the year. What we do know is this: when kids walk through the doors of our school buildings, it will be when the public health experts say it’s safe."

While parents will have the option to keep their kids' learning fully remote, Walsh said it’s important to remember many families don’t have that choice because the parents must go to work, and someone must care for their children.

"[That's why] we must explore every possible way to safely bring kids back to school," said Walsh, "especially for students of color who already face challenges."

According to Brenda Casselius, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, equity has been a focus of the City's plan to reopen schools.

"During our planning we have prioritized equity and have applied an anti-racist lens to every decision point," she said. "We're all reinventing education, and we have to, because our children don't get a rewind."

Regardless of the instructional model in place when school begins in the Fall, Casselius said BPS will have a fully developed plan in place for remote learning, and parents will be able to "opt out of hybrid learning," and into remote-only learning, "if that's what's best for their family."

Casselius said BPS plans to have a fully-remote learning plan in place, in case the science on COVID-19 changes, or in case the virus gets worse within the community of Boston.

Parents of BPS students will be asked through a survey if they would like a hybrid or fully-remote model for their child, and Walsh said any students who do go fully remote will not lose their place in school.

BPS is also holding a number of upcoming virtual meetings for the community to discuss reopening schools in the Fall, "to gather input to help develop a plan for remote learning and the reopening of school buildings for this upcoming school year."

Mayor Walsh emphasized that there is still no set date for a return to school, but he hopes it will be in September.

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