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Boston, Worcester Receive Waiver To Delay In-Person Learning

BOSTON (CBS) - The state's education commissioner has decided that elementary school students should be back in class by April 5. But some districts have succeeded in delaying the start for several weeks. They say they need more time to get things ready.

In total, the state received 77 requests to delay reopening, and the state granted 64 of them. The state approved requests from Boston and Worcester on Wednesday.

Boston will now start full in-person learning for K-8 students on Monday April 26. Worcester will start full-time in person learning for K-8 students on May 3.

The state said Boston and Worcester schools will operate a hybrid model for all K-12 students starting no later than March 29.

Chelsea is also one of the districts granted a waiver. "We've been in full remote for an entire year, and so there's still so much we have to get off the ground," said Chelsea Superintendent Dr. Almi Guajardo Abeyta.

She points out that a recent survey of Chelsea parents said that 45% wanted their kids to remain in remote learning. "We're trying to make sure that we do this right," Dr. Abeyta said.

Some parents of Boston students are upset with the decision, pointing to studies that indicate kids are suffering emotionally from not attending classes.

"Kids are getting depressed. Kids are getting angry. They're getting impatient," said Mano Katsompenakis, the father of two kids in Boston schools. And he points out that parents should not fear their kids will get COVID in school. "I believe in science - and I hope most of us do nowadays - and that's what science says."

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