Gov. Baker Announced Extends Statewide School Closure Through End of School Year
WHITMAN — Superintendent Jeffrey Szymaniak announces that, in accordance with a new order from Gov. Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Whitman-Hanson Schools shall remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statewide closure of schools, originally set to end on April 7 and previously extended to May 4, has been further extended through the end of the school year.
The last day of school for Whitman-Hanson is scheduled to be June 15.
The extended closure of schools is an unprecedented step in limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 and continuing the practice of social distancing as more positive cases and deaths are announced in the state each day.
While schools remain closed, the district’s home food delivery service for parents in need of breakfasts and lunches for their children will continue. Those interested in being placed on the delivery list should email [email protected].
All athletic programs, events and after school activities will remain suspended and fields, playgrounds and play areas will remain closed until further notice.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey Riley canceled MCAS for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year across grades 3-10. The Commissioner has not yet made a decision regarding competency determination for high school graduation.
Decisions about events like graduation, prom and academic awards ceremonies will be discussed in the coming days and weeks and further information will be shared as it becomes available.
“We are saddened to share that the school year will end like this, but this was an anticipated outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Superintendent Szymaniak. “We would like to reiterate that we are prepared to continue remote learning and providing our students with remote resources. While this is an unusual end to the school year, we will continue working to make it as seamless as possible while providing the same resources and care that we would provide if students were in our buildings.”
Remote learning will continue through the end of the school year, June 15, and will proceed based on Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidelines.
Commissioner Riley will be releasing additional guidance and recommendations to school districts statewide within the coming days.
Teachers and administrators have worked since the initial school closure to support students’ connections to their school community and classwork.
During the school closure, teachers have remained vigilant and mindful of their individual students’ needs and have made adjustments according to those needs. Teachers will continue to reach out to students and families on a regular basis throughout the remainder of the school closure.
For more information, visit the district’s website at https://www.whrsd.org/.