As Winchendon families adjust to the unexpected delay of in-person classes, and prepare to start all-remote learning on Monday, two other Massachusetts school districts have abruptly changed their plans for the new school year.

Dedham and Lynnfield, both among the 13 highest risk communities in the state, both changed from a proposed hybrid opening plan to all-remote classes. Lynnfield will be remote at least through September 30; Dedham has not projected a date to attempt in-person classes. Parents were notified on Wednesday, September 9. Students had been scheduled to begin in-person classes on September 21.

A cluster of new cases in Dedham is blamed on two gatherings of students in town that turned into "super-spreader events." Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker said that one gathering was "a bunch of young kids who got together to watch a bunch of Bruins playoff games."

Winchendon, along with all of north central Massachusetts, is a low risk community with an infection rate well below the threshold considered safe for children to return to school for in-person classes. Winchendon schools are beginning classes on an all-remote model because of insufficient staff at the high school, and repairs being made to the HVAC systems in all school buildings to provide recommended ventilation in classrooms.