A Look at Boston's Phased Approach to Getting Children Back Into Classrooms

Students in pre-school and kindergarten through Grade 3 are slated to return on Monday

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Boston Public Schools will welcome back thousands of students into classrooms beginning Monday.

The phased approach will begin with pre-school and kindergarten through Grade 3 students.

Students in grades 4 through 8 will return on March 15, and all other students on March 29.

Parents can still opt for remote learning if they choose.

Photos shared by the school district show classrooms with spaced desks and sanitizing stations, as well as air purifiers that have been installed.

Mayor Marty Walsh announced that Boston Public Schools will reopen for K-3 students starting Monday.

"It will be the first time our kids will be in school in nearly a year," Walsh said. "This is a big step for us. The positivity rate is in the right place, so getting our kids in school now is the next important step we can have for our children."

Students with high needs have been back in classrooms since December.

Some parents say they're happy to be moving forward.

"I'm tired of being a teacher, a maid, everything else. I'm tired," said Boston mom Annia Janvier. "As soon as I got out of the door, their computers close, so yeah, I'm happy for schools to be open."

"They miss their friends. They miss being outside," said Estefania Gudino, another mother in Boston. "They just miss that routine."

Walsh said new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to decline, and the 7-day average positivity rate of 3.4% is the lowest it has been in the city since October. Every Boston neighborhood is now below 7%, he said.

"This is all very positive news we're sharing today," he said Thursday. "It means you're slowing the spread of the virus in our neighborhoods."

But Walsh also warned that now is not the time for people to let their guard down.

"We must continue do do everything we can to protect ourselves and our communities against the virus," he said.

The head of the Boston Teachers' Union said they are still waiting on air quality test results, which are expected to be released next week.

Movie theaters, gyms and other businesses in Boston will be allowed to reopen starting Monday.

Walsh's remarks Thursday came as 50,000 new appointments to get the coronavirus vaccine at mass vaccination sites in Massachusetts went live Thursday morning.

Early education and K-12 workers are listed as Group 3 in Phase 2 of the Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccination plan, which means they are next in line but not yet eligible to receive the vaccine.

Walsh has continued to urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19, despite ongoing criticism over the state's rollout of the vaccination process.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, nominated as President Joe Biden's labor secretary, faced a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday.
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