Students at Bedford High School and John Glenn Middle School are scheduled to return to full-time in-person learning on Monday, April 26, School Superintendent Philip Conrad told the School Committee at its meeting Tuesday, bringing the school system ever closer to pre-pandemic conditions not seen for more than a year.
The return is facilitated by the recent change in guidelines by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that three feet of student separation in the classroom is no riskier than the former standard of six feet, as long as masks and other protocols are observed.
“I have instructed the principals, leadership teams, and transition teams at John Glenn Middle School and Bedford High School to bring students back students back with three-foot distancing and maintain six-foot distancing in front of the room for educators,” Conrad reported. “Elementary students are all back in at six feet and I see no reason to change to three feet because they are making it work.”
All Bedford schools will be adding Wednesday classroom time to meet the state’s five-day requirement.
The commissioner of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that the hybrid model will no longer be counted as required learning time for elementary schools as of April 5 and middle schools as of April 28. Bedford will meet both of those deadlines, Conrad said, adding that the state commissioner has not announced a return date for high schools.
The current remote learning option will be retained for students who for medical or other reasons require them. Conrad noted that the commissioner announced that a remote option will not be required for the coming school year.
The superintendent and the committee Tuesday focused on ensuring that situations that bring children together — lunch and bus transportation — are in compliance with safety standards.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 781-983-1763