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COVID-19: Deadline Set For MA Students' Return To In-Class Learning

MA Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley
MA Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley Photo Credit: Images by extremis from Pixabay/Mass.gov

Soon remote learning won’t be an option: Massachusetts has set deadlines for when students have to return to in-person education.

On Tuesday, March 9, the Commissioner of Education Jeffrey C. Riley said that, for elementary school children (grades K-5), hybrid and remote learning models will no longer count toward meeting the required student learning time hours as of April 5.

All Massachusetts public elementary schools must switch to full-time, in-person education, five days per week starting on Monday, April 5.

Riley set deadlines for other grades to return to in-person, full-time education.

Middle school students (grades 6-8) will have to return to class by Wednesday, April 28.

A deadline for when high school students (grades 9-12) must return to in-person education has not been set yet. Riley said he plans to make an announcement on this in April. Districts will be provided with at least two weeks’ notice of the return-to-school date.

On March 5, Riley was granted the authority to force schools to end their hybrid and remote-learning options that were created in 2020 to tamp down on the spread of COVID-19. Now that pandemic-related deaths and incidents are declining and the economy is reopening, Riley said children should return to the classroom.

Even though the remote programs are ending, families will retain the choice as to whether to send their children to school in-person or have them learn remotely through the end of the school year. Ir is unclear how that will be handled. Districts may also apply for a waiver from DESE. Waivers will be considered in a limited set of circumstances described later in this document.

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