EPS eyes March reopening some grades

FEBRUARY 6: Seniors 75 and older and others with specific health concerns where the first to get the Covid-19 vaccine at the former Pope John XIII school building over the weekend. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Vaccinations start at Pope John XIII


Throughout the nation, a crescendo of interest in re-opening the public schools has taken on new energy and support.

In New York City and Chicago, the mayors of those two cities are taking seriously the outcry of parents and educators to get schools open again as soon as possible.

With the virus still running rampant across the nation and here in Massachusetts, reopening schools en masse for everyone is a daunting task.

In fact, Everett just began vaccinating its residents 75 and older at the former Pope John site.

More than 500 were vaccinated Saturday, according to officials.

In Everett, School Superintendent Priya Tahiliani is staying ahead of the curve about reopening the schools.

The Everett Public Schools are in fact tentatively scheduling the reopening of some of the lower grades partially in March, according to Tahiliani’s previous remarks at School Committee meetings.

What isn’t going to occur is a mass reopening with teachers and students inside classrooms while the virus is prevalent.

What isn’t going to occur is a mass reopening with teachers and students inside classrooms while the virus is prevalent.

Partial, cautious, sensitive to everyone’s needs reopening is the matrix to be followed by school officials, according to the superintendent.

Everett’s reopening will allow for a great deal of goodwill and safety precautions for teachers afraid they will be infected by students.

According to Tahiliani, teachers who wish to return to class if allowed can do so.

If teachers fear for their health and well-being, they will be allowed to teach from off-campus locations.

The same is said to be true for students.

Parents afraid of their children’s well-being if they return to school, will be allowed to remain at home for online instruction.

FEBRUARY 6: Residents head in for their shots. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

The near future of what happens relies greatly on the virus itself, vaccinations, and a general lowering of the infection rate and the number of infections in Everett.

The EPS are relying on a gradual re-opening, based on science, and will employ a hybrid approach to com- ing back to normal within – classroom instruction.

This week’s city statistics reveal a decline in the num- ber of new infections.

About 200 new infections were reported in the past ten days.

Only 7 new infections were reported Monday.

Many of those infected do not test or socially distance, so exact numbers of infected are difficult to estimate.

However, Everett remains a COVID-19 “hot-spot” ac- cording to the Massachu- setts Department of Public Health officials.

Nationally, the United States remains in the eye of the hurricane.

The virus has already taken more than 460,000 Americans since last March.

New cases are coming in at 150,000 a day, which’s down from 250,000 a day but remains an untenable number.

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