BSC proposes reopening plan for Brookline schools
The Brookline School Committee (BSC) has proposed a reopening plan for the Public Schools of Brookline (PSB). On August 12, the committee will vote on the plan.
The plan, “RemotePlus”, offers a phased approach beginning on Sept. 16 with in-person learning available for those in the Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP) and students considered “most vulnerable,” while all other K-12 students will have a remote learning experience. According to the presentation, Students with IEP’s designated as “high needs,” low-income students, English Language Learner (ELL) students with “complex and significant needs,” students using aided and augmentative communication and homeless or foster and Congregate Care students are among those considered “most vulnerable.”
As health and safety challenges, including updates to the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, installation of HEPA portable filters and physical distance and outdoor space requirements are overcome, Phase II of RemotePlus will begin. This phase will establish a hybrid model for K-12 students and continue fully in-person learning for BEEP and vulnerable students.
According to the presentation, this phase-in approach accounts for younger students being less vulnerable to COVID-19 and older students being more capable of remote learning. In addition, it will minimize the risk by gradually increasing building densities and modifying classrooms, while providing time for PSB to train staff on safety protocols and develop an “effective and sustainable hybrid model.”
The plan outlined three main district goals for students: ensure that every student “meets or exceeds Brookline’s high standards” and eliminate gaps in student achievement with educational equity, increase student investment in learning with rigor, relevance and relationships and instill habits for success in meeting the challenges of the global environment.
In order to meet these goals, the presentation outlined plans for physical and social-emotional wellness. PSB hopes to maximize outdoor space and incorporate movement into the curriculum in order to maintain physical wellness, while also shifting away from team sports and shared equipment during Phase II. They also hope to support social emotional wellness with the Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) and by fostering relationships and a sense of community amongst students and teachers whilst encouraging healthy habits, among other things.