Back To School In Southeastern Mass

Massachusetts Public Schools are returning in a few weeks whether CoronaVirus is here, or not. 


Governor Charlie Baker ordered a 10-day delay to the start of the new school year for all municipalities in the Commonwealth and dropped the required amount of school days from 180 to 170 for this year. 


We have the plans for most of the local schools in the area and how they will approach the return to learning. 


Both Swansea and Fall River will be using a hybrid model to begin the school year with options to pivot to other models if conditions change in either direction. Somerset will start off (almost) exclusively remote. 


Swansea Superintendent John Robidoux confirmed the plan will look like a lot of the proposed hybrid models across the region, with two cohorts.


Robidoux said students will be placed in Cohorts A and B. On Monday and Tuesday, Cohort A will go to school in-person while Cohort B is remote. Then, on Thursday and Friday Cohort B will be in-person while Cohort A stays at home for remote learning.


On Wednesday, all students will be learning remotely. It’s assumed that day will be used for a weekly deep cleaning. 


In Somerset, they decided to kick off the year completely remote. Both the Somerset Berkley Regional High School Committee and the Somerset K-8 School Committee voted for it, unanimously. 


The plan will allow for high-need special education students to return for face-to-face learning, if needed. The plan also allows for a phased-in approach to go hybrid if conditions change, at a date to be determined that could be as soon as October.  


The complete remote model will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning allowing for a simulation of a regular daily school schedule with teachers and students meeting at a specific time for a given class, and students doing assignments when they choose by the given due date. 


The expectation is that teachers will be teaching from their classrooms with this plan instead of being at their homes.  


The Fall River Public Schools Phased-In Hybrid Model of School Reopening will be broken down into 4 cohorts. 


Cohort A will be made-up of english language learners and special education students that need full-time face-to-face learning. They will learn in-person Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesday being a remote learning day for all Fall River students in every cohort. 


Cohort B is made-up of students who chose to go completely virtual this year and will learn remotely, known as the Fall River Flex Learning Academy.


Options to exit Fall River Flex and re-enter one of our in-person learning cohorts will be provided at the end of the first marking period and at other transition dates throughout the year and subject to space availability, transportation capacity, as well as individual student learning needs.


Cohorts C & D will be made-up of the rest of the students who don’t fit into A or B. Cohort C will be in-person one week while Cohort D is remote. The week following the two Cohorts will switch and continue that way. 


These plans are subject to change and created for that purpose if things do change for the better or for worse, the school systems can adapt.