Here's What a ‘Hybrid' Reopening of Boston Public Schools Could Look Like

Speaking with reporters, Superintendent Brenda Cassellius described what a day could look like for teachers under the hybrid model

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Dr. Brenda Cassellius, superintendent of Boston Public Schools, on Wednesday laid out the district's current vision for a potential hybrid learning model this fall as educators and families face an uncertain school year.

Her remarks came a day after the district released the first draft of its "School Reopening Fall 2020" plan. School officials say they are still in the process of deciding between starting the school year online only or enacting a hybrid model.

School officials in Boston are continuing to discuss how the fall semester will be handled.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday, Cassellius described what a day would look like for teachers under the hybrid model, during which students would have two days of in-person learning and three days of remote learning.

In a COVID-19 update, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh addresses schools reopening in the fall, announces new coronavirus numbers and pays tribute to the late Rep. John Lewis.

She said the day would start with teachers greeting the students who come to the school that day and have them log into computers while those working from home do the same. At that point, the teacher would hold a morning meeting with the class.

"Then I may have taped a video lesson and I might just shoot that off to everybody on the computer and everybody watches the video, which is very much like teaching math on a chalkboard, for instance," she said.

"Then I might have them all go do an independent practice, which is either working on a problem... or working with another student and I might put them in a a Zoom room and they might work on a problem together."

At that point, the class could reconvene on Zoom to discuss the problem before taking a break, during which in-person students could participate in a physical activity outside while at-home students could do an activity at home, before moving on the the next lesson.

Parents would be given a checklist to complete each morning that a child is scheduled to physically go to school, to make sure they are not sick, she said. There would also be designated times to wash hands at school and students would be socially distanced.

Cassellius said plans would be fluid as the the district remains fxeible to react to developments such as a rise in coronavirus cases in the community.

No start date had been determined by the district, she said, but the district's plans are due to the state by August 10.

"We have not yet made a final decision regarding which of these options is best for the students of the Boston Public Schools," the district said the draft plan released Tuesday. "We continue to monitor local health data and will be guided by the advice of our public health officials."

School officials noted that the semester would not start with all students in class.

The decision will be driven by science, and it may change based on the status of the coronavirus pandemic, the district said.

The reopening process will also work to combat racial inequity, school officials said.

"As we do with all our efforts, the Boston Public Schools has kept equity at the center of our school reopening planning," Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said in a letter. "We remain committed to antiracist policies and closing opportunity and achievement gaps."

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