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Fall 2020 Return to Learning Plan 1.0 Document and Presentation to the School Committee

School Opening Fall 2020 Superintendent's Bulletin #5

Dear Belmont Community,

Thank you for participation in the School Committee meetings this week. Hundreds of you attended both School Committee virtual meetings on August 4 and 6. More than 600 questions were submitted in the Google document in preparation for the community forum on August 6 in addition to many of you asking your questions during the meeting. Please see the Fall 2020 Return to Learning Plan 1.0 which gives you additional school guidance and addresses many of the issues concerning our families. Please note the presentation given to the School Committee on August 6 is not added in the Fall Return to Learning Plan 1.0 as the plan was drafted on August 5. We will update this plan as necessary during the month of August.

The school department recommendation at this time is a full remote start with a phased approach to hybrid learning. This was outlined in the presentation given to the School Committee at last night’s meeting. We came to this decision the morning of August 6, given the health and safety issues in-person school would present along with state and local health guidance given the recent uptick in Massachusetts coronavirus cases. Our intention to announce the school department’s recommendation was in an effort to allow transparency of the process to the School Committee and the Belmont community and to give the School Committee ample time to make this very important decision on how we return to school in the fall at the August 11 meeting. We look forward to your important feedback on the survey which closes on August 10 at 9:00 a.m. This feedback will be used to inform our work towards which hybrid schedule serves the student best. Please complete one survey per child.

In addition, the School Committee voted unanimously to adjust the school calendar to reflect September 16 as the first day of school to allow preparation and continued training days per agreement with MTA and DESE. We will send out guidance regarding the first day for kindergarten since this grade normally begins school differently than the rest of the district. The school calendar will be posted on the district website.

Thank you for all the thoughtful questions, comments, and consideration the Belmont community has given during this challenging time.


John P. Phelan
Superintendent of Schools
Town of Belmont