Most Recently Amended by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education: May 25, 2021
(1) Upon a declaration by the Governor that an emergency exists which is detrimental to the public health, or upon a determination by the Board that exigent circumstances exist that adversely affect the ability of students to attend classes in a safe environment unless additional health and safety measures are put in place, the Commissioner, in consultation with medical experts and state health officials, shall issue health and safety requirements and related guidance for districts.
(2) Upon such a declaration by the Governor or determination by the Board, the Commissioner shall require each district to develop and submit a plan that prioritizes providing in-person instruction to all students in a safe environment. The plan shall include:
(a) health and safety procedures that are consistent with the requirements issued by the Commissioner; and
(b) a description of the in-person learning model the district will use to provide instruction to students. The in-person learning model shall mean all students receive in-person instruction in school environments that have been appropriately modified to address health and safety requirements issued by the Commissioner.
(c) The Commissioner may require districts to include the alternative education models set forth in 603 CMR 27.08(3) in their plans, to address circumstances in which students cannot safely attend classes in an in-person setting.
(d) Where the Commissioner has required districts to include alternative education models in their plans, the Commissioner shall, from time to time, consult with medical experts and state health officials, to determine whether students can safely attend classes in an in-person setting with health and safety requirements. If the Commissioner concludes that students may safely attend classes in an in-person setting with health and safety requirements issued by the Commissioner pursuant to this section, then he may, with prior written notice to the Board, notify districts that they may no longer use one or more of the alternative education models, in whole or in part, to meet the minimum school year and structured learning time requirements set forth in 603 CMR 27.03 and 27.04. Notwithstanding the foregoing, districts and schools may provide remote learning pursuant to a remote learning model for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year to those students whose parent or guardian selects remote learning for their student.
(3) Alternative education models shall include the following:
(a) Hybrid learning model. Hybrid learning model means students alternate between in-person learning with safety requirements and remote learning. Hybrid learning models shall include the following requirements: Effective January 19, 2021, districts and schools operating a hybrid learning model shall provide at least 35 hours of live instruction over a 10-school day period, averaged across the grades in the hybrid learning model.
(b) Remote learning model. Remote learning model means students are educated remotely. Remote learning models shall include the following requirements:
procedures for all students to participate in remote learning, including a system for tracking attendance and participation;
remote academic work shall be aligned to state standards;
a policy for issuing grades for students' remote academic work;
teachers and administrators shall regularly communicate with students and their parents and guardians, including providing interpretation and translation services to limited English proficient parents and guardians.
effective January 19, 2021, districts and schools operating a remote learning model shall provide synchronous instruction each school day; and
effective January 19, 2021, districts and schools operating a remote learning model shall provide at least 40 hours of synchronous instruction over a 10-school day period, averaged across the grades in the remote learning model.
(c) District approved model. Means an education model submitted by a district and approved by the Commissioner.
(4) Upon such a declaration by the Governor or determination by the Board, the Commissioner shall direct each district providing in-person summer school programs to implement health and safety procedures that are consistent with requirements issued by the Commissioner.
(5) The Commissioner shall determine the form and manner for submission of district plans and may publish templates, guidance, and other resources.
(6) Each district shall post its plan on its website.
(7) The authorities granted in 603 CMR 27.08 shall remain in effect until the Board determines that students can attend classes in a safe environment without additional health and safety measures.
603 CMR 27.00: M.G.L. c. 69, s.1G; M.G.L. c. 69, s. 1B.
Disclaimer: For an official copy of these regulations, please contact the State House Bookstore, at 617-727-2834 or visit Massachusetts State Bookstore.
Last Updated: November 14, 2022
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