By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
Gov. Charlie Baker provided the state of Massachusetts with some hope of students returning to school before the current academic year concludes, which would mean an abbreviated spring sports season could occur. But it is not a given.
Asked about reopening schools in his Friday press briefing, Baker said there is an “ongoing conversation” about this topic within the administration regarding the remainder of the academic year.
As of now, students are learning remotely – they have been at home since mid-March and are not expected back in the classroom until Monday, May 4. But with the May 4 deadline quickly approaching it is certainly possible that Baker and his administration could extend the stay-at-home advisory like other neighboring states have done recently, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.
“I believe that the vast majority of school systems and school district leaders would like to see the kids back at some point before the end of the year … but the challenges associated with that are real,” said Baker.
Indeed, there would be a fair amount of challenges with making sure students, teachers, and faculties are safe when schools reopened, but Baker did say a decision on whether to remain remote or return to the classroom “needs to be made soon.”
Yesterday, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced his state would finish out the remainder of their academic year online. New Hampshire also canceled its spring sports season, becoming the second New England state to do so after Maine made the same announcement one week earlier. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont could still have games this spring, pending their stay-at-home advisories and orders are lifted in a few weeks.
As reported by Jim Clark of the Boston Globe, if schools were to resume on Monday, May 4, a short and abbreviated high school spring season could occur, beginning no earlier than Monday, May 11 and ending Saturday, June 27 with sectional tournaments. Sunday, June 28 could be used as a makeup date if needed.