Springfield Public Schools: First grading period to be fully remote

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Public Schools announced Thursday evening the first marking period of the upcoming school year will be fully remote.

School Committee Vice-Chairman Christopher Collins said that all school buildings meet air quality guidelines provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education but the district must go beyond state guidelines to keep children and families safe.

After the fall marking period the school district will re-assess the possibility of shifting to a hybrid model. This will depend on the status of the coronavirus and the status of the ventilation systems in school buildings.

A review of physical and technical aspects of all school buildings has begun but the review is not complete, and the results are not yet known.

Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick said the district will submit the re-opening plan to the state by August 10. Springfield schools will also be reaching out directly to families to address technological needs.

We’ve had time to write a plan that is much more streamlined, accountable and accessible for families and students. We were thrust into remote education in the spring, and we know the experience was more disjointed than we would have liked. We’ve worked hard to address that.

We will make sure parents know what to expect and how to make sure their student is equipped with the technology they will need.

A remote opening is absolutely the right thing to do at this juncture, given the current path of the virus and the unknowns surrounding the school building ventilation systems.

Daniel Warwick, Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools

Superintendent Warwick added that families should expect to hear more details about school opening in coming weeks.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno addressed the school committee’s vote Thursday night saying,

Of course, we want to get our children back in schools as soon as possible, but our decision must be based not only on educational aspects, but also public health, medical aspects and the science of COVID-19.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno

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