Letter from DESE to Parents

Letter from DESE to Parents and Guardians
Posted on 05/09/2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
On behalf of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), thank you for your
partnership and for helping make education possible for all children in the state during these
difficult times. The importance of students’ and families’ health and well-being is never far from
our minds. As a parent, I know that having schools in session, but school buildings closed, can be
confusing and upsetting for students. As commissioner of K-12 public education in Massachusetts,
my goal is to help all students stay safe and continue their learning.
As you know, in an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19, the Governor has closed school
buildings for the rest of this school year. Teaching and learning continue to take place remotely.
The Department has helped schools respond through four phases of work.
1. The first phase began in mid-March, when schools were required to close for three weeks.
The Department focused on student safety, nutrition, and other basic needs. Meeting these
needs continue to be top priorities.
2. The second phase started in late March, when schools were required to close through early
May. The Department provided initial guidance to schools (on March 24) and a letter to
families (on March 30) along with a list of educational resources for remote learning.
3. We are currently in the third phase. We now know that schools will be closed through the
end of the school year (late June for most schools). Because of this, we released updated
guidance on remote learning (download) on April 24 to help schools strengthen local efforts.
4. We are also thinking ahead to the fourth phase, when students and staff will eventually
re-enter school buildings. We are working with school leaders, and health and safety experts
to plan and prepare for this.
Schools and teachers have been doing their best to support your children with remote learning. In
your community this may or may not include online learning (using computers, tablets, phones, etc.),
but remote learning can include any combination of resources supported by the school and teacher

to help your child make progress in their education while classes are unable to be together.
For more details about the updated remote learning guidance and other resources that may be
helpful during school closures, please see the School Connectedness document that follows this
letter. This letter will be posted on our Learning at Home web page, and other information is also
available there.
Thank you again for all you are doing to help your children learn, connect with their teachers, and
continue important daily routines. If you have other questions for us not addressed here, you can
email COVID19K12ParentInfo@mass.gov or call (781) 338-3700.
Sincerely,

Jeffrey C. Riley
Commissioner
Family Letter and 2pp 5 8 20.pdf

High School Guidance 5 8 20.pdf


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