Are snow days a thing of the past? With Massachusetts schools both online and in-person, a long tradition could change

Snow days have always been a right of passage for kids in the New England region, a brief respite from schoolwork marked by sleeping in and making snowmen.

But now, with school districts across Massachusetts still relying on remote learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, the future of snow days may come into question.

In Worcester, where students are learning remotely through at least the first semester, Superintendent Maureen Binienda said she’s waiting to hear from state education officials on what the plan will be for students this winter. But, Binienda said she thinks the possibility of traditional snow days turning into online learning days is a change she would welcome.

“We can do remote learning with students online for the whole day. By the end of this year, all of us are going to have really good established practices with that,” Binienda said. “It would make sense that you could

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Joseph M. Cronin, first Massachusetts secretary of education, dies at 85

“In order to really give poor people in the inner city a chance to compete,” he told the Globe, “we will have to spend more on their education than on the average child in other communities.”

Dr. Cronin, who in his long, multifaceted career as an educator had also served as president of what is now Bentley University, died Saturday in the Pat Roche Hospice Home in Hingham of progressive supranuclear palsy. He was 85 and had lived in Milton for many years.

As he prepared to retire in 1997 from leading what was then Bentley College, he received a letter from nearly 20 colleagues who signed themselves as “the faculty and staff of color.”

“Under your leadership diversity has become a business imperative for the college,” they wrote. “Your leadership in diversity has resulted in many of us joining the Bentley community.”

When Dr. Cronin first arrived in 1991

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Total of 106 students, 57 staffers test positive for COVID in Massachusetts schools over the last week, education officials report

Massachusetts school districts have reported 106 new coronavirus cases over the last week among students who are learning in-person or through hybrid instruction, according to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Additionally, DESE reports 57 new COVID-19 cases among district staff members. The new cases reflect reporting between Oct. 1 through Oct. 7 across school districts, charter schools, collaboratives and approved special education schools.

The data includes positive cases for students in hybrid or in-person learning models, excluding students in districts that are learning only remotely. Staff cases include employees who have been in a district building within the seven days before the report of the positive case.

Notably, there were eight new cases among students in Haverhill schools, five among students in Hudson schools and Burlington schools and four among students in Hingham schools. Every other district saw three or fewer new cases, with the vast majority

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What questions do you have about remote, hybrid or in-person learning in Massachusetts? MassLive reporters answer your questions live on Facebook

With some schools going back through virtual learning, while others start completely in person, and some going back in between with hybrid learning, this semester had been difficult for many across Massachusetts.

We want to make sure we answer your questions during this difficult time.

MassLive education reporter Melissa Hanson and managing producer Michelle Williams will be answering your questions live on Friday.

Comment on our Facebook posts between now and 11 a.m. Friday with your questions regarding education in Massachusetts. Then check back in Friday afternoon to see your questions answered.

You can also submit questions by emailing reporter Heather Morrison at [email protected]

Be sure to check out all our education coverage from this year.

Last week, we spoke with College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors in Boston on Facebook Live to talk about tips and tricks for remote learning. Reporter Jackson Cote spoke with the superintendent of TECCA,

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Massachusetts education board votes to modify the definition of remote learning in regulations

The state education board on Tuesday voted to approve amendments to regulations around how students go to school safely during a declared state of emergency, as officials said they plan to monitor the quality of remote learning in the coming months.

Massachusetts has been in a declared state of emergency for six months amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. After schools abruptly went online in the spring as virus cases spread, districts across the state now have a mix of in-person and online learning models.

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted unanimously to approve amendments to regulations for student learning during an emergency, which call for districts to define remote learning and have plans that include a system for tracking attendance and participation, a policy for grading students’ remote academic work and a requirement that teachers and administrators regularly communicate with students’ parents and guardians, including providing

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Massachusetts poll: Race, education, gender may influence some divergent views about death

Last Words, a three-part Globe Spotlight Team series, exposes the inequities that follow people in Massachusetts to their very last breaths. It is a deep examination into the uncomfortable topic of death, and confronts the state’s failure to protect its most vulnerable in the early days of a historic pandemic. Read the Globe Spotlight report.

A Boston Globe-Suffolk University poll late last year shows that, for the most part, Massachusetts residents share widespread agreement on issues related to the difficult subject of death.

They say society would be better off if end-of-life issues were discussed more openly and believe terminally ill patients should have more options to choose when and how to die. A sizable majority say they would prefer to die at home, and many men and women have first-hand experience with hospice, according to the poll of some 500 residents across the state.

But some major —

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Massachusetts Department of Education urges 16 school districts in ‘low-risk’ COVID-19 communities to return to in-person learning

The Massachusetts Department of Education is pressuring 16 communities and school districts, which the state deemed “low risk” COVID-19 areas, to return to in-person learning.

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In a letter signed by the Department of Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley, the agency said its guidelines only recommend remote learning for communities designated as “high risk.” The letter was sent to 16 communities that the state deemed low risk who continue to exclusively offer remote learning.

“In light of the stark discrepancy between local public health data and your reopening plan, I am requesting a timeline by which you anticipate providing in-person instruction for the majority of your students including in-person instruction for vulnerable populations,” Riley said in the letter.

The 16 communities and school districts included:

Amesbury

Belmont

Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public (District)

Bourne

Boxford

East Longmeadow

Gardner

Gill-Montague

Hoosac Valley Regional

Manchester Essex Regional

Mohawk Trail

Hawlemont

Pittsfield

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