Cambridge Public Schools to Shift to Remote Learning Thursday for at Least 1 Week

Negative trends in two key coronavirus metrics -- the average number of daily cases and wastewater COVID levels -- spurred the decision


Cambridge Public Schools will move to a fully remote learning model starting Thursday, Dec. 10, sending students home full-time for at least a week as coronavirus metrics climb in the city. 

The decision was announced Sunday by Superintendent Kenneth N. Salim, who said in a statement the shift will be temporary as officials monitor data from scientific partners. 

For now, the shift to remote learning will through at least Dec. 16, the school district said in a statement. Reopening will be decided in coordination with the Cambridge Public Health Department. 

Negative trends in two key coronavirus metrics drove the decision. The district tracks the number of new cases reported each day in Cambridge, the city's positive test rate and the level of coronavirus detected in its wastewater.

As of Sunday night, the average number of daily cases and wastewater COVID levels was too high, according to the district's coronavirus data dashboard. In-person learning can resume when at least one of those metrics returns below the district's thresholds, the district said.

Cambridge officials are discussing whether or not indoor dining should be stopped as the pandemic worsens.

“We continue to plan for improvements to learning experiences, including potential expansion of in-person learning that will allow us to welcome more students in person when the public health situation allows,” Salim said in a statement. “We will continue with the upcoming family listening sessions; student, family, and staff surveys, and staff discussions to refine plans for the second semester.”

The city’s schedule for planning the change to remote learning is as follows:

Monday, December 7 and Tuesday, December 8

In-person learning continues as scheduled.

– Principals and schools will share additional information regarding remote schedules. 

– OSS families will also receive a call from their case managers.

Wednesday, December 9

Regular fully remote learning day.

Thursday, December 10

Shift to fully remote learning begins.

– School buildings, including central offices, will be closed to students, but will remain open for staff and for those who need to pick up supplies.

– Remote lunch pickups will continue at 12 p.m. at each school. Families are welcome to pick up lunch at any school building.

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