Partial Return to In-Person Learning Beginning Monday
HAVERHILL — Superintendent Maureen Lynch reports that Whittier Tech will begin a phased return to fully-in person learning starting Monday.
The transition falls in line with guidance from the Department and Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that districts should prepare plans for a return to fully in-person learning before the end of the school year. While the state is requiring this return for elementary students starting April 5, districts statewide are already making this transition at all grade levels.
The transition will take place as follows:
- On Mondays only, beginning Monday, March 15, all sophomores and juniors in both academic and vocational weeks will attend school in-person, in full cohorts.
- On Monday, March 29, all vocational week students will return to school for in-person learning in their full vocational cohorts, Monday through Friday (five days a week).
- Sophomores and juniors in their academic cohorts will also attend school in-person on Mondays, and participate in their hybrid learning schedules for the rest of the week.
- On Monday, April 26, all academic week students will also return to school for in-person learning, Monday through Friday (five days a week), marking a full return to in-person learning throughout the school.
Students who wish to continue a fully remote learning schedule will have the option to do so, however the district does encourage students and families to consider returning in-person to ensure they are getting the most out of their learning experience. Hands-on learning is a key part of career and technical education, and honing the industry knowledge and skills needed for employability and success post-graduation.
“We feel strongly that with the protocols we have in place, coupled with reduced numbers of active cases of COVID-19 in the community and ongoing vaccination efforts, it is safe for us to return to fully in-person learning,” Superintendent Lynch said. “This has always been our ultimate goal, and we look forward to welcoming students back to a more normal schedule. We’re confident this is the best decision for the academic and vocational growth of our students as well as their social emotional wellbeing.”
Whittier Tech has closely monitored the case numbers of COVID-19 in its sending communities since the pandemic began, and will continue to do so. As case numbers remain low and the state vaccination distribution plan continues to roll out, district leadership believes firmly a return to fully-in person learning is in the best interest of students, especially considering the value of hands-on learning in career and technical education.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has repeatedly reported that transmission rates of COVID-19 in schools statewide has remained low all school year. At Whittier Tech, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported as the result of in-school transmission.
Desks throughout the district will be placed 4.5 feet apart throughout this transition. The required minimum outlined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is three feet. All students and staff will continue to be expected to wear a mask in the building, practice frequent hand washing and social distancing, and stay home if they feel sick.
For the latest updates, visit Whittier Tech’s website here.