(WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is getting more information on schools that are choosing a fully remote model until after the holidays are over.
So far, Monson, Springfield, and Easthampton have made the decision to either shift to fully remote or remain that way because they never started in person learning to begin with.
Chicopee shifted to full remote and they are watching cases closely to determine their next step.
EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The city of Easthampton has extended the closure of city buildings to the public until March, marking almost a …
Chicopee school officials pulled back their hybrid model of learning due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Wednesday night, the decision was finalized to stay remote through the holidays.
"Chicopee has seen the highest cases, you know, it was in the news as of Tuesday, the highest one-day case count as well. Just the trend that Chicopee is going right now with the transmission and based off the advice from the local department of health, it was best to keep the buildings closed,” said Matthew Francis, an assistant superintendent at Chicopee Public Schools.
When asked by Western Mass News when they would revisit the topic, Francis added, “When you are looking at a two-week window after Thanksgiving, that takes us in to the third week of December. Would it be applicable to try and get students back prior to the holidays? So, we watch the data and the superintendent is on the city calls daily with the local…so, it will be revisited prior to Christmas break so that families have a plan going forward after the break.”
In Easthampton, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle closed all public buildings until March, but the superintendent wants families to know that doesn’t mean schools won’t try for in-person learning come January.
In fact, under the mayor’s orders, some students have already come back to class.
“We had specialized programs back, we had preschool and we had kindergarten,” said Easthampton Public School Supt. Allison LeClair.
LeClair said they were put in the high school because it was determined to have safe air quality.
The other school buildings’ air systems are being evaluated by an engineer.
“The other buildings we wanted to get the assessment done and we wanted to make any adjustments to enhance air quality in those buildings before we had students return,” LeClair noted.
LeClair said she is confident that any necessary adjustments to the older buildings’ air systems would be made in time for January.
Under the mayor’s orders, the public schools will remain closed to visitors and parents as they have since the pandemic began.