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Schools may need to ‘pivot’ this fall based on local coronavirus data, Baker says

Governor Charlie Baker spoke during a press conference at the State House on July 24.
Governor Charlie Baker spoke during a press conference at the State House on July 24.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Massachusetts schools should be prepared to “pivot” their plans for teaching this fall, depending on the coronavirus data in each community, Governor Charlie Baker said Monday.

Schools have been asked to create three plans for reopening during the pandemic: an entirely in-person scenario, an entirely remote-learning experience, and a hybrid approach. But at a news conference, Baker said circumstances may force schools to use more than one model.

“It may be that over the course of the next four or five months, you could have school districts that at one point or another are going to need to know how to pivot from one option to the other,” Baker said.

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“And I think the guidance that we’ve given them with respect to how to build that, along with the $900 million that we’ve made available in state and federal funds to support the things that they need to purchase and acquire to implement this, sets them up pretty well to develop those plans.”

Baker said schools will have to evaluate the “actual facts on the ground in each community” to determine which approach is best. Schools have been asked to submit their plans for all three scenarios to the state by Friday.

“I don’t know why you would literally say to people, ‘It’s all this way or all that way,’ because circumstances over the course of the school year or over the course of the fall may require people to be able to do more than one,” he said.

Baker was asked whether he could provide any answers — or words of wisdom — to parents dealing with the uncertainty surrounding school schedules.

“Parents are in a variety of places, again, depending to some extent I think on their own experience,” he said. “The same goes with respect to school districts, and that’s again part of the reason why we think it’s important for people to develop a variety of options that they’re able to put in place, depending upon the circumstances in their district.”

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Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.