DESE Permits 2020-2021 School Year Delay and Student Learning Time Reduction

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (“DESE”) is permitting school districts to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year by 10 days but not later than September 16, 2020, reducing the student school days to 170 days from the current 180 day requirement for the 2020-2021 school year.  Waivers may be available for school districts that are unable to meet the September 16th start date.

School Committees are not required to reduce the number of student days in the 2020-2021 school year nor are they required to wait to begin classes until September 16th.  School Committees should  consult their superintendents and leadership teams to assess the needs of educators for additional training to be able to effectively and fully implement the remote and hybrid plans being designed and be prepared to engage with their unions over the number of student days for the upcoming school year.

If you have questions regarding this update, bargaining obligations associated with the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year,  or school law generally, please contact us.

This update is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.