FRAMINGHAM – It certainly has been an interesting couple of weeks.
In all my years in education and dealing with serious & challenging issues, from the Challenger explosion to September 11th, NOTHING compares to what we are currently facing.
From the first day, March 11th or so, Dr Tremblay and the admin team have been working incredibly hard to ensure the safety of Framingham students, and creating innovative solutions to food insecurity – these are among the biggest concerns of educators, parents, and our community.
Administration has also been transparent with staff about what has been going on, has reached out for educator input to define teacher expectations in this unprecedented situation, and has involved the FTA in much of the updates and planning.
Since the DESE update on March 23rd, focused on the rollout of distance learning, FTA members were invited to work with both Anne Ludes and Amy Bright in the Office of Teaching and Learning to create calendars of activities supporting student engagement.
This is the first implemented week of the work of those activities; teachers collaborating virtually with each other and administration, preparing the calendars to support their students.
We plan to debrief on this work on Friday and review some specific concerns teachers have.
This is not easy work; keep in mind that educators are experiencing the same things in their homes that many families are experiencing: everyone is home, physically distancing from peers and sometimes loved ones, from babies & toddlers who need constant supervision, to college students home from school, and other adults who are all online and all trying to get work done.
The district respects this situation because they are also dealing with the same distractions and have been understanding of the challenges the educators have in doing the work that needs to be done; for that, I would like to thank you.
Regarding the budget; I virtually “attended” the budget subcommittee and have read through most of the 157 pages of the budget, and while I have some questions (which I will forward to the chair at a later date), I fully support the 6.4% increase over last year’s budget.
This Budget for next year gets at much more of what we all agree is needed to support student success.
Following the joint Student Opportunity Act forum we had on March 4 – which now seems like a lifetime ago – the FTA forwarded a list of priority needs from each building. I look forward to Dr. Tremblay’s review of this document, and also to see a draft of the Student Opportunity Act document, originally due to DESE today (I understand the deadline may have been extended).
As we work together to get through this incredibly challenging time, and also continue with the work needed to plan for next school year, I appreciate our collaboration and shared focus on the needs of Framingham students.
Framingham Teachers Association President