Massachusetts Schools Close for the Remainder of the Academic Year


Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office

Governor Baker announced on Tuesday that all Massachusetts schools will move to remote learning for the rest of the academic year.

Sarah Bryden, Business Manager

On Tuesday, Governor Baker formally announced what many in Massachusetts had suspected for weeks: the cancellation of the remainder of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic. His mandate applies to both public and private schools, and makes Massachusetts the 27th state to make such a decision.

Prior to the announcement, classes were set to resume May 4th, but as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen, Baker stated that “students… cannot safely return to school and avoid the risk of transmitting this virus to others.”

Learning will continue remotely, and Baker stressed that education is still a top priority, explaining that “closing the actual school buildings for the year does not mean it’s time to start summer vacation early.”

The decision was met with a sense of disappointment in Hingham, although not surprise: many were expecting schools to close, and some even expressed frustration that the announcement was not made earlier. Freshman Vivian Nguyen noted that, “it’s sad that we won’t be able to fully experience our freshman year, but we still have a few years left.”

Sophomore Mimi Jiang-Yu echoed Vivian’s sentiments and expressed a desire for closure, saying, “I feel sad. Especially for the seniors. We all didn’t know our last day at school was the last day of school. So many things got cancelled and the year doesn’t feel complete.”

For upperclassman, the closure has more serious repercussions: juniors across the nation worry about the effects the pandemic will have on their college applications, while seniors mourn missed milestones like prom and graduation.

Junior Rhiannon Peacock explained her disappointment, saying, “I really miss all my teachers and classes, and it’s stressful with senior year and college applications approaching. Many people have been unable to take SATs, ACTs, etc. and are missing opportunities to bring up their GPA. While I understand the circumstances and that this break from school is necessary, it is still a bitter pill to swallow. That being said, the teachers have been great with reaching out and hosting zooms!”

With the stress of college application behind her, senior Emma Sommers offered a different perspective: “I would say I’m a bit disappointed but I’m trying to focus on the bigger picture of what’s going on in the world. I’m hoping to have some sort of graduation and I’m sad about missing end of year concerts and stuff, but I’m trying to be grateful for the good experiences I’ve already had at HHS.”

Seniors across the nation are in a similar position, something which Baker noted on Tuesday, lamenting the fact that “they’ve all worked hard for four years and they look forward to so-called last seasons, whether it’s to play lacrosse, run track, participate in a school play, go to the prom, or graduate.”

Still, the move is widely seen as a necessary one: Massachusetts has the third most coronavirus cases in the US, and has recorded 1,809 deaths. Difficult though it may be, staying out of school until September is the only way to stop the spread of coronavirus, and the best way to make sure that life will soon resume normally.