SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Public school students in Springfield will begin classes Tuesday, but in the midst of the pandemic, kids will be learning from home.

Monday, Mayor Domenic Sarno said fall classes will be much different than in the spring when COVID-19 first hit.

Normally on the first day, school would be flooded with students heading in and out of the building, but with COVID-19, it won't be a typical first day of school.

School starts Tuesday for Springfield Public Schools with a much different feel during the coronavirus pandemic as students start classes fully remote, just like they ended the last school year.

“Attendance -- this is very structured now,” Sarno said. “Not like when we had to shut down when COVID started. The superintendent will get into that. Attendance will be taken and grading will be done from our students.”

The Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick spoke out on Monday at the City’s coronavirus briefing.

He said students will be held to a higher standard moving forward.

“We're going to have full attendance, full grading, and normal school schedules,” he said. “It's going to look very much like real school, but virtually, and very much high stakes.”

Western Mass News is digging deeper looking at the expectations for students.

Daily, every elementary student will be required to spend a certain amount of time dedicated to each subject with a big focus on reading and writing.

Plus, there will be two graded assignments each week for all subjects.

“It's going to be a high stakes program when we open remotely,” Warwick said. “The parents have all been contacted, the students have all been contacted and we're really ready to go.”

For grades 6 through 12, there will be three classes a week for each subject.

Students will have a week to finish three graded assignments for each class.

The superintendent said each student will have their own laptop to make sure they get their work done.

“We're still doing our distribution, but have more than 17,000 laptops in the hands of families to engage in this process,” he said.

The school district said enrollment is down with 969 students fewer than last year.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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