Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Tuesday that he agreed with Gov. Charlie Baker's decision to keep all public and private schools in Massachusetts closed for the rest of the academic year.
"It's the right decision to make. We're still in the midst of this pandemic, and there's still too many people testing positive for coronavirus," Walsh told WGBH News' Joe Mathieu. "We're still really, at least in Boston, in the mode of social isolation, physical distancing. And I don't know how practical it would have been to have school come back this year."
Earlier Tuesday, Baker announced at a press conference that all school buildings would remain closed until June 29. In-person classes would continue to be replaced with remote and online learning, Baker said.
Walsh said now that the decision has been made not to reopen schools this academic year, educators can focus on enhancing remote learning and thinking ahead to summer classes. The mayor said there are many question that remain unanswered.
“What happens to kids moving up from 11th, 10th and ninth grade, into the next grade? Schools have been closed now for the months of March, April, May, June — that's four months of schooling kids won't have. ... It’s really half a year that kids are not going to be actually learning in a classroom,” said Walsh. “It’s going to have an effect.”
Walsh said that when schools do reopen, they may have to implement precautions like wearing masks and taking students' temperatures. He called for universal testing in order to collect more data.
"To go back to the issue we're talking about ... we don't have enough data right now to be able to make some of these decisions that we want to make," the mayor said. "Until those tests and materials come our way, we're kind of taking it a day at a time here."