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New DESE Requirements


Dear Belmont Community,

Last week the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) asked districts across the State to review their remote and hybrid education models to meet two new proposed regulations.

  1. A minimum number of “live instruction” hours over two weeks of school. Live instruction is defined as in-person (for those in a hybrid model) and/or synchronous remote instruction; and 
  2. Daily contact with teachers for all students.

This morning the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education discussed and approved change to the regulations by a vote of 7 to 4, and all districts will need to implement the new guidance by January 19th.  The preliminary report received from DESE asks that Belmont update its hybrid program to add two hours of synchronous learning time every two weeks -- the equivalent of 20 minutes per day. All Belmont students already have daily contact with their teachers.

Our Belmont administrators, educators, and staff are committed to meeting this new guidance. Upon hearing from DESE, our team immediately began to discuss the hybrid programs across all of the schools so that an updated schedule could be developed quickly and effectively. 

We will keep you posted on our progress. Please plan on receiving our next update on Friday, January 8th, after we all return from Winter Break.

We have all been impacted by the challenge this year of trying to develop new learning programs, often in real time, that take into account the needs and requirements of all members of our community while meeting the important health and safety standards of an evolving pandemic environment. With the help of the Belmont community at large, we have forged a new foundation for meeting this challenge, and we are confident that together we can apply lessons learned to meet future school needs, including this new recommendation from DESE. 

On behalf of our entire Belmont Schools community, we wish you and yours a peaceful and safe winter break, and we look forward to the promise of a fresh start that a New Year brings.

Respectfully,

John P. Phelan
Superintendent of Schools

John Sullivan
Belmont Education Association President

Andrea Prestwich
School Committee Chair






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