IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Massachusetts high school halts in-person classes after teens attend New Year's Eve party

Groton-Dunstable Regional High School will be all-remote until at least the end of this week.

All instruction at a high school near Boston will be done remotely this week after some students attended a New Year's Eve party in violation of state coronavirus protocols, officials said Tuesday.

Students at Groton-Dunstable Regional School District are in a mix of in-person and remote classes, but everyone at the high school will have to log on for their instruction until Monday, officials said.

The district has learned that some students attended a party late Thursday night, with at least one of those pupils having now tested positive for coronavirus.

“We've been in this for a long time, it feels like forever," School Committee Chairwoman Marlena Gilbert told NBC News on Tuesday. "Am I surprised someone threw a New Year's Eve party? No. Am I disappointed? Of course I am."

A handful of students have tested positive this academic year, but quick contact tracing has limited those instances to just one case at a time and cut off any spread, according to Gilbert.

Groton Dunstable Regional High School in Groton, Mass.
Groton Dunstable Regional High School in Groton, Mass.NBC Boston

Superintendent Laura Chesson told parents in a letter that the district isn't sure how many students attended the party, prompting officials to play it safe.

"Unfortunately, we do not have information regarding exactly which students attended the gathering and which students did not," Chesson wrote. "We also can not ensure which students came in close contact with others at the gathering."

She added: "As a result, in order to ensure that there is not a significant amount of transmission from this event, we have no choice but to move all students at the high school to remote learning until Monday, January 11th."

All games and practices involving teams from Groton-Dunstable Regional Hight School will also be suspended until Monday. The school is about 50 miles northwest of Boston and 11 miles south of downtown Nashua, New Hampshire.