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While most Boston schools remained closed, McKinley opened its doors. Yet almost no one came

On a frigid late winter afternoon, three lone students exited the William McKinley Preparatory High School at the end of the school day. Each climbed into one of three waiting yellow school buses — which he occupied entirely on his own.

The low attendance rates, which have shown only marginal signs of improving in April’s first weeks, speak to the difficulty of compelling students who already disliked school to attend when it’s optional. Even before the pandemic, the neglected school struggled to entice high school students to attend class. . . .

“McKinley can be a stressful place,” said Elizabeth McIntyre, an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services who represents students with disabilities. McIntyre has represented 49 McKinley students since 2014, and consulted on cases for nearly 200 more. Before COVID-19, McIntyre worked with many of her McKinley clients to help them transfer to schools with more therapeutic services and no police officers on patrol. All of her students who have studied at the McKinley schools during the pandemic have welcomed remote learning, McIntyre says.

“For my clients who really struggled at McKinley, [remote learning] has alleviated some of those struggles,” she said. . . Read more in The Boston Globe.