DANVERS — Superintendent Heidi Riccio reports that, in accordance with a new order from Gov. Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Essex Tech will continue remote learning through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statewide closure of school facilities, originally set to end on April 7 and previously extended to May 4, has been further extended through the end of the school year.
The last day of school at Essex Tech is scheduled to be June 15.
The extended closure of schools and remote learning is an unprecedented step in limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 and continuing the practice of social distancing as more positive cases and deaths are announced in the state each day.
The district will continue to partner with its bus service to deliver breakfast and lunch meals Monday, Wednesday and Friday to students in need for the remainder of the school year, with the meals being delivered directly to each student’s home. Those who may recently have developed a need for food services are encouraged reach out to staff at Essex Tech to be included in the deliveries.
All athletic programs, events and after school activities will remain suspended and fields, playgrounds and play areas will remain closed until further notice.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey Riley canceled MCAS for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year across grades 3-10. The Commissioner has not yet made a decision regarding competency determination for high school graduation.
Plans regarding events such as graduation, prom and academic awards ceremonies will be addressed in the coming days and weeks and further information will be shared as it becomes available.
“The safety and wellbeing of our students, their families, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance to us all at Essex Tech, and it is not a surprise, given the way COVID-19 has impacted our communities, that the state has come to this decision,” Superintendent Heidi Riccio said. “Our teachers will expand and adapt their remote learning efforts for the remainder of the school year as needed, and we will provide an update once more information is available. We all miss being at school, learning in-person and being together as a community, and I thank you all for your cooperation and patience through this challenging situation.”
Remote learning will continue through the end of the school year, June 15, and new content will continue to be introduced to students by their teachers.
Commissioner Riley will be releasing additional guidance and recommendations to school districts statewide within the coming days.
Teachers and administrators have worked since the initial school closure to support students’ connections to their school community and classwork.
During the school closure, teachers have remained vigilant and mindful of their individual students’ needs and have made adjustments according to those needs. Teachers will continue to reach out to students and families on a regular basis throughout the remainder of the school closure.
For more information, visit the district’s website at https://essexnorthshore.org/