DESE is the Massachusetts department of Elementary and Secondary Education. It oversees every local district in Massachusetts and is led by the Commissioner of Education.
An Initial Fall reopening guidance that was released on June 25, 2020 can be found here. This document outlines the requirements and considerations for reopening in the fall with the goal of safely returning as many students as possible to in-person school settings to maximize learning and address students’ holistic needs.
This document required school districts to prepare a plan that included an in-person learning with safety requirements, a hybrid model and a plan for full-time remote learning
Reduce mixing groups (cohorts) as much as possible
Utilize alternative school spaces, community space and outdoor space
Health and Safety Requirements: students grade 2 and above and adults must wear masks, distancing should be a minimum of 3 ft when combined with other safety measures.
A Remote Learning Guide was released on July 24, 2020 and can be found here. It outlines additional/updated DESE recommendations for reopening schools in the fall.
Regardless of the pandemic’s status this fall, planning for remote learning is necessary to be prepared for changing circumstances.
Particular attention needs to be paid to make sure that remote learning is equitable
Districts will be required to meet a minimum school year of 180 days an 900 hours (Elementary), 990 hours (Secondary) of structured learning time. This is regardless of students attending school in person or remotely.
These requirements have been modified as of 7/27 in this document. The new requirements are 170 days and 850 hours (Elementary) and 935 days (Secondary). This is to provide 10 days for school districts to prepare to reopen.
Districts should prioritize students for in person learning in the following way:
1. Students with disabilities and English learners
2. Students without reliable internet or a suitable learning space at home
3. Students who are significantly behind academically