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Baker Wants Massachusetts Elementary Students Back In Classrooms Beginning In April

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Malden.
Jesse Costa
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Malden.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker wants to phase out remote learning starting in April, making it possible for every student to return to the classroom before the school year ends.

"We've seen the repercussions of prolonged remote learning for our kids: Their social, mental and emotional well-being has been significantly impacted," Gov. Baker said during a press briefing Tuesday.

Baker pointed to "dozens of reports from all over the world that it's safe to be in school" particularly with mitigation measures in place.

Last week, President Biden said the goal for in-person learning time for students should be five days a week.

State education Commissioner Jeff Riley says that parents would be able to choose to keep their kids learning remotely if they choose.

"At some point, as health metrics continue to improve, we will need to take remote and hybrid learning models off the table and return to a traditional school format," Riley said during a Tuesday meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Riley plans to ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for the authority to determine when hybrid and remote models will no longer count for learning hours during next month's board meeting. However, the learning models will be available at least until the end of this school year.

This report was originally published by WBUR.

Carrie began reporting from New Mexico in 2011, following environmental news, education and Native American issues. She’s worked with NPR’s Morning Edition, PRI’s The World, National Native News, and The Takeaway.
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