PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Public Schools released an in-person learning transition plan and anticipates bringing back the first group of students Wednesday, Oct. 14
The Pittsfield Public Schools released a press release Tuesday morning outlining its in-person transition plan that will first return grades preK, kindergarten, 1, 2, 6, and 9 on Oct. 14.
"With schools serving as an important part of the infrastructure of communities, the timeline associated with the shift from online learning to in-person classroom instruction is impacted by many factors," the press release reads. "Driven by reliable public health data, as well as considerations to the needs of our students, families, and staff, the Pittsfield Public Schools transition to in-person learning is anticipated to continue to shift towards a hybrid learning model in October."
Pittsfield began the school year fully remote on Sept. 15 with plans to enter into a hybrid education model after successful negotiations with the bargaining units.
As of Sept. 28, students enrolled in special education, vocational, and English language learner (ELL) curriculums returned to in-person learning,
"With in-person learning already underway for a small portion of our student body, it is anticipated that students enrolled in traditional education curriculums will transition to a hybrid learning model, which includes in-person learning, between now and mid-October," stated the press release.
Grades 3, 4 and 5 will start in-person school Tuesday, Oct. 20, and Grades 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 will return Tuesday, Oct. 27.
These are the anticipated return dates and, as always, these return dates will ultimately be guided by public health data.
As determined by the weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report, in-person learning can, and will, proceed if the following metrics are maintained in Pittsfield and Berkshire County:
A 14-Day Average Test Positivity Rate of Less Than 3 percent.
A 14-Day Average Daily Incidence Rate of Less Than 4 Per 100,000 In Pittsfield\Berkshire County.
According to the press release, each student will be assigned individualized in personalized learning schedules. Schedules will be either "AM" (morning instructional time) or "PM" (afternoon instructional time).
Each of the students\families eligible for in-person learning beginning on Oct. 14, will receive a notification regarding their in-person class schedules on Thursday, Oct. 8 or Friday, Oct. 9.
According to the press release, all students eligible for bus transportation are required to complete an online bus transportation questionnaire by Thursday, Oct. 1.
For security purposes, the questionnaire has been emailed to each student’s email account.
Per state guidelines, a maximum of 25 students are allowed to ride on a school bus at any given
time. Each student will be provided their own bus seat and will be physically distanced from others. Masks are required to be worn at all times on buses. Bus windows will be open at all times.
Upon transitioning to in-person learning in the hybrid model, the Pittsfield Public Schools will provide breakfast and lunch to students in a "grab & go" bag.
All students\families that have registered for the Virtual Academy have begun the 2020-2021 school year receiving education in their respective home schools. Students that have enrolled in the PPS Virtual Academy will transition to the virtual learning academy commitments as anticipated.
For additional information about the Pittsfield Public Schools Virtual Academy, contact Principal Carl Tillona at email@example.com.
The district has set up multiple virtual meetings for parents and guardians that will provide an overview regarding the student transition to the hybrid learning model.
Parent\guardian informational meetings will be offered: Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.
Additional information and registration, for parent\guardian informational meetings, will be posted on www.pittsfield.net. Parents and guardians are encouraged to register in advance, in an effort to provide the school district an opportunity to address questions and concerns that are most common amongst students and families.
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Pittsfield Man Charged in Catalano Murder Pleads Guilty
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A second man has been convicted in the 2018 murder of William Catalano.
Jason Sefton, 23, pleaded guilty to murder on Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court. Judge John Agostini sentenced Sefton to serve a life sentence with the opportunity for parole after 25 years.
His trial had been scheduled in two weeks.
Sefton was one of three Pittsfield men charged in connection with the stabbing death of Catalano on Oct. 15, 2018. Catalano, 34, died at Berkshire Medical Center roughly 90 minutes after he was found lying on the sidewalk in front of 219 Robbins Ave. He had been stabbed multiple times.
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