boston schools coronavirus
A kindergarten teacher, Princess Bryant, talking to students from her classroom in Boston last month. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

The New York Times

One moment Boston parents were looking forward to school doors reopening sooner or later for kindergartners and pre-kindergarteners. The next they were learning that those few students who had already been allowed back in person were being sent back home.

“I am heartbroken that today we have to close our doors to our highest-need students,” Boston’s schools superintendent, Brenda Cassellius, said Wednesday.

It was a microcosm of the disarray across the country as school districts try to get back to normal — or at least something vaguely resembling it.

In suspending their attempt to resume in-person learning in public schools, Boston officials cited the city’s rising tide of coronavirus cases.

After starting the school year remotely for all students last month, the city began a phased reopening on Oct. 1, allowing about 3,000 high-needs students to attend in-person classes at least two days a week. Those students include some with disabilities, as well as those who have experienced homelessness and those who are still learning English.

The next phase, which would have brought back kindergartners and pre-kindergarteners, had been scheduled for as soon as mid-October, but was recently delayed.

For now, all that is over — at least, in Boston.

Elsewhere in the country, more large districts are beginning to open schools, reassured by the fact that there is not clear evidence at this point of significant transmission in schools, especially among younger children. Continue reading

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