Updated: October 2021

Boston Partners in Education (BPIE) has updated its COVID-19 safety guidelines for the 2021-22 school year. The following guidelines apply to all BPIE volunteers serving in in-person settings at Boston Public Schools (BPS) sites in school year 2021-2022. Our top priority is ensuring the safety and health of our students, teachers, and volunteers.

Please note that only an excerpt of key guidelines is detailed below. To view Boston Partners in Education’s full COVID-19 policies for 2021-22, see our Volunteer COVID-19 Safety Guidance. If you have questions about these guidelines, please be in touch with your BPIE Partnerships Manager.

For the 2021-2022 school year, Boston Partners in Education (BPIE) is pleased to offer both in-person and online mentoring opportunities.

To safeguard the health of BPS students, faculty, and school communities, and in coordination with BPS’s COVID-19 safety guidance, BPIE has implemented the following policy on COVID-19 vaccination for volunteers in 2021-2022:

  • If you ARE vaccinated against COVID-19, you are welcome to volunteer in person at a BPS site OR online, at your preference.
  • If you are NOT vaccinated against COVID-19, or if you choose not to disclose your vaccination status, you are welcome to volunteer in an online setting only.

All BPIE volunteers are required to complete an online attestation form regarding their vaccination status prior to volunteering in 2021-2022 so that we may route you to the appropriate setting. To fill out the attestation, please contact your Partnerships Manager or reach out to [email protected].

For more information, please review Boston Partners in Education’s full Volunteer COVID-19 Safety Guidance for 2021-2022.

Per BPS policy, proper use of face masks is required on school property. The district states:

  • Acceptable face coverings include multi-layered cotton masks, disposable masks, and KN95/N95 masks.
  • Not acceptable: Neck gaiters, open chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings containing valves, mesh material, or holes are not considered appropriate face coverings.

In-person volunteers are required to comply with all BPS COVID safety measures at both the district and school level. In-person volunteers should be aware of and agree to the following:

  • All BPS schools will require volunteers to show proof of vaccination before volunteering on site. (Please note that the proof of vaccination process is handled entirely by BPS, not by BPIE.)
  • Some schools may have implemented individual safety measures beyond what is mandated by BPS at the district level; volunteers are required to comply with whatever measures their school has implemented.
  • In the event of an exposure, BPS has contact tracing protocols that volunteers may be asked to participate in.
  • In-person volunteers agree to accept all risks involved with in-person volunteering.
  • Should individual schools provide BPIE with specific safety measures, BPIE will pass on site-specific information to volunteers serving there ASAP.

Both in-person and online mentoring opportunities will be available for the 2021-22 school year. Boston Partners in Education is considered a direct service to students, which allows our volunteers to return to schools in-person once we have received permission from school leaders.

With individual school permission, volunteers may join students in-class or online during the school day each week. For online matches made during the school day, we will rely on teachers or other school staff to create a recurring video meeting link and serve as proctors for the safety and security of all parties.

Our Independent Learning Support program also returns for the 2021-22 school year to provide online support outside of school hours. In this model, students who have self-identified or been identified by their families as benefiting from increased support will be matched with mentors after school or on weekends. Once matched, mentors will meet with students on Google Meet for a minimum of one hour per week to review classwork, support student projects, and build skills in the student’s area of need. Proctors will audit the session, cameras off, for the safety and security of all parties.

For more information, please review Boston Partners in Education’s full Volunteer COVID-19 Safety Guidance for 2021-2022.