CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Hundreds of students in Massachusetts got their winter break extended as several school districts delayed their return to school amid the current COVID-19 surge.
Cambridge Public Schools told families that they’re closed until Wednesday and offering student testing Monday.
Christine Fahey, a cafeteria worker for the district, says that the delayed return “makes you feel a little more comfortable. A little more at ease.”
The state attempted to hand out more than 200,000 rapid COVID-19 tests over the weekend but due to supply chain issues, many teachers received one test instead of two.
Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Najimy says it’s concerning.
“These are not PCR tests, these are rapid tests, they’re designed to have multiple tests in a row over a period of a couple of days, so we won’t have a full and accurate picture unless we can do the testing properly,” she said.
Even though many school districts are delaying reopening, like Brookline, Lawrence, Randolph, and Wareham, state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley says returning to remote learning is not an option as students need in-person education.
Some teachers say they’re taking all the precautions knowing that.
“I wear a mask. I’ll be that teacher making sure the students wear their masks properly,” math teacher Jennifer Barlow said. “I feel as long as we take these precautions and if people are sick they stay home then we should be safe, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
Gov. Charlie Baker reiterated Monday after touring Saltonstall School in Salem the importance of in-person learning.
“We’ve said for quite a while since the beginning of the school year, in fact, all the way back to last spring that it was critically important for kids to be in school for a number of reasons,” he said. “Some of it has to do with educational development but a lot of it has to do with social development, human development, and frankly, in many cases, especially for some of the older kids, their mental health status.”
He added that any school districts that decided to cancel classes will still need to provide their students with 180 days of in-person education for the school year.
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