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Boston Public Schools Ready to Open 28 Additional Schools for 1,700 Students on Monday, December 14

Schools will open for students with complex needs with additional health and safety measures in place.
A classroom at the King K-8 School in Dorchester, furnished to support physical distancing with a freestanding air purifier in the rear of the room.

BOSTON — Sunday, December 13, 2020 — Boston Public Schools (BPS) will welcome an additional 1,700 high needs students for in-person learning starting on Monday, December 14. The students will attend up to four days a week at 28 schools. They join 200 fellow students already learning in four schools. Students prioritized for in-person learning include students in special education programs and students with limited or interrupted formal education.
“In every decision we make, we are prioritizing education and safety for our highest-needs students, those who face significant risks to their wellbeing when they are not in school, while respecting family choice,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Every day matters for their progress and they deserve our very best effort. We will continue to ensure that our schools are prepared, and the protocols are in place, to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and families.”

The 28 schools are:

  • Blackstone Innovation School
  • Boston Community Leadership Academy
    Boston Green Academy
  • Boston International Newcomers Academy
  • Brighton High School
  • Charlestown High School
  • Community Academy of Science and Health
  • Condon K-8
  • Curley K-8 School
  • East Boston High School
  • Eliot K-8 Innovation School
  • English High School
  • Excel High School
  • Frederick Pilot Middle SchoolHaley Pilot School
  • Harvard/Kent Elementary
  • Hennigan K-8 School
  • Jackson/Mann K-8 School
  • Kilmer K-8
  • King K-8 School
  • Lee K-8 School
  • Madison Park Technical Vocational High
  • Mario Umana AcademyMattahunt Elementary School
  • Mildred Avenue K-8 School
  • Ohrenberger School
  • TechBoston Academy 6-12
  • Tynan Elementary

In response to the City’s current COVID-19 positivity rate, BPS is implementing the additional health and safety measures in these 28 schools as was implemented in the four schools which opened in November, which include:

  • Installing freestanding air purifiers for every space that will be occupied
  • Installing the highest available filter in all HVAC systems
  • Providing medical grade personal protective equipment for staff
  • Delivering an additional 1,000 disposable masks for students and 1,000 disposable masks for staff
  • Testing and reporting on air quality and ventilation in school buildings
  • Limiting the number of persons in a classroom and their interaction
  • Inviting staff to participate in free COVID-19 testing at or near their school

In addition, BPS in partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is providing access to on-site COVID-19 testing for students in grades 9-12 who are learning in-person. The plan to open 28 additional schools was reviewed and approved by the Boston Public Health Commission.

“We know that many of our students require in-person services to support their learning, particularly those with complex needs that are difficult to address online,” said Brenda Cassellius, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools. “I am grateful to the entire BPS community and our city colleagues for all they’ve done to ensure a safe reopening. We look forward to welcoming our staff and students on Monday and remain committed to restoring in-person learning opportunities to additional students in the new year. I thank everyone for their patience and for their continued collaboration in ensuring our kids succeed.”

The additional safety measures listed above complement the work BPS completed over the summer in anticipation of the reopening of school buildings, including:

  • Updated cleaning protocols to ensure that high touch areas are cleaned consistently throughout the day and bathrooms are wiped down every two – three hours
  • Delivered supplies of disinfectants, paper towels, and hand sanitizer with 60% or higher level of alcohol content so all schools have a three-month supply in stock
  • Scheduled a misting disinfectant treatment twice a week in all classrooms
    Walked every classroom to advise on social distancing
  • Delivered thousands of signs to schools with reminders on best practices in hand washing and sanitizing, and social distancing
  • Provided more than 100,000 reusable face masks and more than one million disposable face masks for staff and students
  • Delivered face shields and gloves to nurses
  • Replaced more than 10,350 air filters and upgrading to MERV-13 filters where allowed by the equipment
  • Inspected and repaired all central HVAC systems to ensure they comply with ASHRAE standards
  • Hired outside contractors to conduct air quality testing in all schools and continued regular air testing
  • Raised the temperature set points to offset the open windows, taking temperature recordings three times daily to analyze and adjust as necessary
  • Repaired restrooms to maximize the number of sinks for handwashing and upgrading more than 2,000 bathrooms
  • Installed more than 4,500 plexiglass and vinyl dividers throughout schools, including in offices and other spaces used by staff.
    BPS Communications Office
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