Coronavirus: [COVID-19]: April 21, 2020
All Schools In Massachusetts Now Closed Through June
Superintendent-Director Edward A. Bouquillon issued the following email to all students, families, and staff on Tuesday, April 21, 2020:
Dear Minuteman High School Community,
I am writing to inform you that this afternoon, Governor Charlie Baker ordered all schools in Massachusetts closed through the remainder of the school year. As the Governor stated during his press conference today, this was a decision based on data showing the steady number of COVID-19 cases and deaths statewide. Massachusetts currently has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the United States, with more than 41,000 cases reported as of today.
For students at Minuteman, the Governor’s decision means we will enhance and remain in remote learning mode for the remainder of the school year. The Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will release updated guidelines on remote learning later this week.
Until now, a Minuteman student’s participation – or lack of thereof – in remote learning would not negatively impact a student’s standing. This approach was deliberate and meant to provide the greatest flexibility during the initial stages of this crisis, when we had anticipated being back in school within a few weeks. Now, because we will not be back in the building for the remainder of the school year, our approach has to evolve.
Myself and my administration will determine, especially for seniors, what requirements must be completed in order to officially graduate from Minuteman. While we await DESE’s forthcoming guidelines, it is important for all students in all grades to make up any missed work from prior to the closure no later than Monday, May 4. As stated previously, third-quarter grades will close on May 4.
In addition, for seniors:
- All senior portfolios are due by Monday, May 11.
- All virtual senior projects must be completed and uploaded into each student’s senior project folder on or before Friday, May 22. Projects will be judged from May 26-29.
All students are strongly encouraged to participate in remote learning. Depending on a student’s career major at Minuteman, hours completed of remote learning may count toward required hours for a trade license, along with employability skills and general knowledge toward licensure exams.
As we continue to make final determinations about grading and assessments for remote learning, our administrative team is also discussing how to honor this year’s Class of 2020 in the absence of a prom or traditional graduation, whether or not we can hold summer learning programs, and how to safely re-open school in the fall. Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeff Riley said today that these issues are on the minds of his team as well, and further guidance will be issued in the coming days and weeks.
I must acknowledge the heartfelt disappointment all teachers and staff feel for our students, particularly those in the senior class. Spring is when seniors celebrate championship athletic games, proms, graduations, and other activities. We realize this is a tough loss, and we applaud all of you who continue to lift each other’s spirits and find creative ways to stay connected. Last week, Minuteman held a “Virtual Spirit Week” and posted many photos of students and staff on social media. Very soon, we will send our seniors a touching video message from our teachers, who are all thinking of them.
Finally, I want to personally share that I am supportive of Governor Baker’s tough decision, which he stresses is driven by data from health officials. We are experiencing this unprecedented crisis together as a community, and we must continue to do our part by staying apart. My hope is that by following physical distancing practices now, we will be able to reopen sooner rather than later.
Please continue to check minuteman.org/coronavirus for further updates and feel free to email me directly if you have any questions. For official updates from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, visit mass.gov/covid19.
Minuteman High School