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Catholic schools in some hotspot communities to start year remotely

By Jacqueline Tetrault Pilot Staff
Posted: 8/28/2020

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East Boston Central Catholic School is among those Catholic schools opening for remote instruction this fall. Pilot photo/courtesy East Boston Central Catholic School

BOSTON -- While most Catholic schools throughout the archdiocese plan to reopen for live instruction this fall, some are having to scale back their plans due to high local rates of COVID-19.

Among those stepping back from full in-person instruction are Lawrence Catholic Academy and East Boston Central Catholic School. Both communities have among the highest coronavirus infection rates in the state.

Both schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight and will open for in-person instruction only for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes. Students in grades one through eight will receive remote instruction.

In an Aug. 25 interview, Thomas Carroll, superintendent of Catholic schools, said the East Boston decision was made after discussions with Boston's mayor and city health commissioner. The reason behind it, he said, is that East Boston has a higher transmission rate of the coronavirus than other neighborhoods in the city.

According to Carroll, the overall infection rate for Boston is approximately 2.5 percent. However, because Boston's neighborhoods are so large, they are being assessed and classified individually for coronavirus statistics. The transmission rate in East Boston is over 8 percent.

Carroll said that they do not know when East Boston Central Catholic School will be able to provide live instruction, since that depends on when the number goes down.

"It would have to change pretty dramatically for us to change our conclusion," he said.

East Boston Central Catholic School will begin the new academic year on Sept. 9 for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Grades one through eight will begin remote learning on Sept. 14.