Governor Baker’s Announcement Regarding Temporary School Closures
April 21, 2020
Dear families and staff,
I hope that you enjoyed a nice long weekend with your families. I am writing to notify you that this afternoon Governor Baker announced the decision that Massachusetts is extending the mandatory temporary school closures for all public and private day schools for the remainder of this school year. This was a difficult decision for State officials, as many school and government leaders had hoped that schools could be safely cleared to finish our school years onsite. However, we recognize that the pandemic data in Massachusetts ultimately indicated that Massachusetts is not yet positioned to re-open schools.
- Ongoing Remote Learning: Fortunately, a great deal of work has gone into refining remote instruction. Schools will continue to provide remote learning for the remainder of the school year, and Commissioner Riley announced that additional guidance will be shared with schools later this week regarding expectations for this next phase of remote learning. Milestones will continue to follow all guidance and best practice recommendations that are shared by DESE and maaps, and we will keep our staff and families abreast of any new information that becomes available. In addition, State officials shared that advisory teams are actively planning steps that will be necessary to safely re-open schools in the future, and Milestones is similarly engaged in thoughtful planning discussions that will help to facilitate an eventual smooth re-entry for our students and faculty.
- Summer Programming: As we announced previously, Milestones’ last day of programming for the present school year will be Wednesday, June 17th. Milestones will begin our summer programming on Monday, July 6th, as scheduled. Today Commissioner Riley explained that it is too early to confirm authorization about onsite summer programming, but Milestones’ top priority will be to address whether our instruction in July and August will be authorized to be onsite or if remote learning will be expected to continue. It will certainly be Milestones’ goal to re-open onsite at the earliest opportunity that we are permitted.
This announcement, while it is clearly critical for the safety of our community members across the Commonwealth, certainly carries disappointment for educators, parents, and students. At Milestones, our faculty miss seeing our students in person each day, and our spring programming typically includes a variety of fun onsite traditions. In particular, we have 12th grade students and young adults who are approaching age 22 who did not anticipate that their last season at Milestones would include a remote instruction environment. But please note that our faculty is deeply committed to making our students’ experience as positive as possible, and we will be brainstorming creative alternatives to best support and celebrate our students through the coming months.
Thank you for your attention, and please stay safe and well. We’ll look forward to being in touch again soon.