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Somerville schools to start the fall online only

Somerville city and school officials told parents today that schools just won't be ready to instruct students safely come September and so the new school year will start entirely with remote instruction.

Over the last several months, we have been working diligently to put all the pieces in place to support a safe return to in-person instruction in a phased hybrid model. That planning has included bringing in an engineering firm to assess the ventilation and filtration systems in our school buildings, and working to set up a virus surveillance testing plan for students and staff. As we have said from the beginning, the safety and health of our students, staff, and families is and will remain our top priority. We do not believe that opening school for in person instruction without these two important safety components of the school reopening plan in place and resolved is safe or in the best interest of our school community.

Ward 4 School Committee member Andre Green, who posted the letter on his Facebook page, adds:

I am not one to sugar coat things. This has disproportionate consequences for Special Ed, English Learner, younger students and students who were already behind. Opening unsafely ALSO would have dire consequences for these populations, and others. It's unfortunate that a glaring lack of state and federal leadership has brought us here, but it is my hope and belief that all of the SPS stakeholders can put aside their narrow self-interest and work harder then we ever have to do right by the 5000 students in our care.

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Somerville leadership proving more reasonable than Marty and Cassellius.

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