Coronavirus

Lincoln-Sudbury High School switches to fully remote learning following large student party

School officials said in-person hybrid classes will not resume until Sept. 29.

A 2018 file photo of the lawn fronting Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

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The principal of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School informed families Saturday that the school year will now start remotely after police broke up a student party the night before.

Bella Wong, who is also superintendent of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School District, said in a letter to parents that she learned about “a crowded indoor and outdoor student party Friday evening that involved alcohol and complete lack of safety precautions to protect against the spread of COVID.”

When police arrived on scene, Wong said about 15 students ran into the woods, and officers reportedly collected the names of 32 other people.

Thirteen of those names turned out to be made up, she said, meaning at least 28 students who were at the party are still unaccounted for. 

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“If these students had been identified they could be requested to be isolated from school, monitored and tested,” Wong wrote in the letter. 

But instead, the Sudbury Board of Health is requiring all high school students to undergo full remote learning for 14 days from the night of the gathering. 

Assuming the students involved were more likely juniors or seniors, Wong said she asked the board if just freshmen and sophomores could learn partially in-person, though her request was denied.  

“We don’t know that no younger students were involved or that students involved were not siblings of younger students,” Wong said. “In fact, this a reminder to all members of our community to self-monitor for symptoms indicative of COVID.”

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The district had originally planned for high school students to start the 2020-21 academic year with a hybrid learning model. Now, school officials said in-person hybrid classes will not resume until Sept. 29.

“I agree completely with the Board of Health that this is the most prudent course of action to take given what has taken place,” Wong said. “After the intensity of hard work and planning that has been done to be able to start school with students in-person we are profoundly disappointed at this sudden change of plans. I know you must be as disappointed.”

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