Parents Left Scrambling as Boston Schools Go Remote

"I felt, like, heartbreak for those children who desperately need in-person services," one parent said

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There was always the possibility that students at Boston Public Schools would be required to return to an online-only setting. But that doesn't make the move, announced Wednesday, any less disappointing.

"We're all a little bit emotional that we have this announcement that we're gonna stay remote," said West Roxbury resident Margarita Barrios Ponce, who has three kids in school. "There was this hope of being able to go back hybrid."

As of Thursday, all Boston Public Schools students will be learning remotely.

High-needs students were among the first to go back to school and stayed there even when the city reached a COVID-testing threshold for keeping all other students home. But now they will stay home as well. 

With cases of the novel coronavirus going up, officials in Boston have decided to go back to remote only learning beginning Thursday.

Roxi Harvey's child falls into that category, and the Roxbury mother said she's just disappointed.

"I felt, like, heartbreak for those children who desperately need in-person services," Harvey said.

It might not take the form of traditional class, but Harvey thinks that schools should work to find some sort of in-person learning model for these students.

"Public schools...these are not the super-spreaders," she said. "OK, and we're talking about 2,600 high-needs students. I think this is manageable."

For some, like Kelsey Brendel's son Harry, school is so much more than reading, writing and arithmetic.

"Learning to walk, talk and do all the things that so many of us take for granted all happen by the way of school," Brendel said. "This particular group of students, high needs students, any kind of remote learning is an impossibility, not an inconvenience."

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