FRAMINGHAM – Framingham Public Schools Superintendent Bob Tremblay made the decision to re-open the schools today, March 20, for teachers, so they could get their laptops and any curriculum they might need while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Framingham Public Schools have been closed since Thursday, March 12, and the earliest they could open under an executive order by the Governor of Massachusetts is April 7.
Superintendent Tremblay is working on providing “learning opportunities” for students while they are home, but one issue was several teachers did not have what they needed, as the schools were closed to all, after a “deep cleaning’ at Potter Road and Hemenway Elementary by Clean Harbors and a “thorough cleaning” at the other dozen-plus buildings.
Access to all schools has been prohibited until today. Access cards would not even work for staff, until today.
Tremblay told SOURCE starting today, March 20, teachers could go to their schools and get their laptops and any educational materials they thought they might need.
“We are following the social distancing guidelines,” said Tremblay. “And only so many individuals are allowed in at a time.”
The schools will be re-cleaned after these educator visits, added Tremblay.
Tremblay was at Wilson Elementary this afternoon to let teachers into the school.
While there, he greeted families who came by for a free lunch and breakfast for their children.
Tremblay said teachers and the administration have been identifying families who have no wi-fi at home.
Teachers have been calling families of their students to check in on them. They have been asking about wi-fi and computers in the home.
They have also told them about food security options in the City.
He said the district has more than 75 hot spots it plans to distribute to those families very soon, along with Chromebooks for those students, who need them.
At this time, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has not approved “virtual learning” for public school districts.
Tremblay was on the phone with the Commission of Education earlier today, March 20.
Tremblay told the School Committee on Wednesday night he is working to provide enrichment activities for students while they are home. The Superintendent also is working with the Framingham Teachers Association on this matter.
But the primary goal is to provide equity for all students.
Tremblay told the School Committee a teacher could not do an online lesson to 25 students, if 5 students do not have wi-fi at home.
That would be like giving a test in class and only provide 20 students with pencils.
Photos of Tremblay told at Wilson Elementary