Schools that are teaching online during the pandemic would be required to give every student at least some live interaction with a teacher each day under new rules being considered Tuesday by Massachusetts officials.
The state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met to discuss proposed standards around online education amid concerns that it has left many students with anxiety and depression.
"Many of our children are struggling with the isolation that comes with remote or even hybrid learning," Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley said at the meeting.
Under the proposal, schools offering a mix of online and in-person classes would have to average at least 3.5 hours a day of live instruction, which could include online or in-person teaching. Schools that are fully online would have to average 4 hours a day of live teaching.
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All schools would be required to offer some live interaction every day. The changes would take effect Jan. 19.
Riley proposed the changes after a state survey found that many students had at least one day every two weeks without live interaction with a teacher. About one-third of schools currently fail to meet the proposed standards, the state found.
The state previously urged schools to prioritize in-person learning but had no minimums for live instruction.