Distance Learning » DESE Update on Remote Learning

DESE Update on Remote Learning

Click HERE for more information about DESE's four-phase approach
to helping districts through the Covid-19 crisis
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Letter from Commissioner Riley

Dear Parents and Guardians,
On behalf of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), thank you for your partnership and for helping make education possible for all children in the state during these difficult times. The importance of students’ and families’ health and well-being is never far from our minds. As a parent, I know that having schools in session, but school buildings closed, can be confusing and upsetting for students. As commissioner of K-12 public education in Massachusetts, my goal is to help all students stay safe and continue their learning. 

As you know, in an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19, the Governor has closed school buildings for the rest of this school year. Teaching and learning continue to take place remotely. The Department has helped schools respond through four phases of work.

  1. The first phase began in mid-March, when schools were required to close for three weeks. The Department focused on student safety, nutrition, and other basic needs. Meeting these needs continue to be top priorities.

  2. The second phase started in late March, when schools were required to close through early May. The Department provided initial guidance to schools (on March 24) and a letter to families (on March 30) along with a list of educational resources for remote learning.

  3. We are currently in the third phase. We now know that schools will be closed through the end of the school year (late June for most schools). Because of this, we released updated guidance on remote learning (download can be found below this letter) on April 24 to help schools strengthen local efforts.

  4. We are also thinking ahead to the fourth phase, when students and staff will eventually re-enter school buildings. We are working with school leaders, and health and safety experts to plan and prepare for this.

Schools and teachers have been doing their best to support your children with remote learning. In your community this may or may not include online learning (using computers, tablets, phones, etc.), but remote learning can include any combination of resources supported by the school and teacher to help your child make progress in their education while classes are unable to be together.

For more details about the updated remote learning guidance and other resources that may be helpful during school closures, please [click on the link at the top of this page]. This letter will be posted on our Learning at Home web page, and other information is also available there. 

Thank you again for all you are doing to help your children learn, connect with their teachers, and continue important daily routines. If you have other questions for us not addressed here, you can email COVID19K12ParentInfo@mass.gov or call 781-338-3700.

Jeffrey C. Riley