Local discretion curbed by Governor’s declaration

📸 The Citizen Chronicle file photo

Local school districts will now be closed through at least April 7 announced Governor Charlie Baker on Sunday evening.

Gov. Baker announced a number of restrictions and guidelines on a wide variety of aspects of daily life in an effort to slow the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic. All schools will be closed for at least three weeks while restaurants across the state will be restricted to take-out and delivery orders. Additionally, Gov. Baker said “all social gatherings” of more than 25 people will be prohibited. The measures are scheduled to take place on April 7, and have some exceptions, such as grocery stores.

With schools shuttered for at least the new few weeks, Gov. Baker was unable to provide specifics on the impact on school and district-improvement plans as well as MCAS testing. He suggested there may be legislation forthcoming to address some of those matters.

Gov. Baker stressed the school shutdown ought not be viewed as a vacation, but that precautions are necessary.

“By breaking up large gatherings and encouraging social distancing we can prevent the spread but we can’t simply transfer a group full of kids from their classroom to your neighbor’s playroom for days on end,” said Gov. Baker. “We will not be doing our part to prevent the spread if there are a ton of kids hanging out playing video games and sharing snacks every day from one house to the next.”

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