On July 15, 2020, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released information regarding a two-step process for submitting Fall Reopening Plans and a online form/template to be used by districts.

Two-Step Process for District Fall Reopening Plans, July 15, 2020

Below is the text of the On the Desktop message from Commissioner Riley regarding the new process.

News from Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley & the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
On the Desktop – July 15, 2020

Two-Step Process and Online Form/Template for Fall Reopening Plans

Dear Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, Assistant Superintendents, Approved Special Education Schools, and Collaboratives,

On June 25, 2020, DESE released initial guidance for school reopening that prioritizes getting students and staff safely back to school in person, following a comprehensive set of health and safety requirements. Through this guidance, we required schools to create a plan that includes three models: 1) in-person learning with new safety requirements; 2) a hybrid of in-person and remote learning; and 3) remote learning.

The attached document (download) provides an overview of the two-step process for district reopening plan submissions and the online form for preliminary plan summaries due July 31.

Districts will submit their reopening plans to DESE through a two-step process:
• Step 1: By July 31, districts must complete and submit a preliminary reopening plan summary to DESE. Districts will fill out an online form that consists of two parts, which are outlined below and detailed later in this document. This form will allow DESE to collect key summary information about districts’ reopening models and other planning considerations.
• Step 2: By August 10, districts must finalize their comprehensive plan documents, submit them to DESE, and release them publicly to their communities. This additional time will provide districts with an opportunity to incorporate any desired changes based on additional guidance DESE may release later in July, such as guidance on transportation and athletics. We strongly recommend that you work with your school committee (or equivalent board) on policy questions relevant to the final plan before submission.

More information is included in the attached document (download). Should you have any questions about the plan submission process or the online form, please contact reopeningk12@mass.gov. If you need technical assistance with the online form (e.g. issues with technology or functionality), please contact research@doe.mass.edu.

Thank you for all you are doing to prepare your district for the fall.


Jeffrey C. Riley