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ASHLAND – The Superintendent of Schools in Ashland wants parents to know that he “stands by” his educators and applauds them for doing their best during this coronavirus pandemic.

“I can empathize with parents who are trying to find the balance of helping their children, learning to work from home, supporting family members who have lost jobs or have become sick,” wrote Ashland Superintendent of Schools Jim Adams to parents today, May 1.

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Students have not physically been in their schools & classrooms since mid-March and under the Governo’s order will return to their schools this 2019-2020 school year.

But Adams also reminded parents Ashland teachers & staff are facing the same issues Ashland parents are dealing with on a daily basis under this pandemic.

“Ashland educators are faced with the same challenges as parents in our community. Many have sick parents, sick children, children who need to have more structure in their day, spouses working as ‘critical employees,’ spouses who are working from home, as well as spouses who are being laid off.  Their struggles are just as real,” wrote Adams to families.

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“It is better we find a way to acknowledge, comfort, and support one another rather than lashing out and attacking in a negative way. Everyone is experiencing pain mentally, physically, and socially!,” wrote Supt. Adams.

The Ashland Superintendent said that as “each and every day passes, I become more and more saddened for our students.  I cannot fathom the unbelievable stress, pressure, and anxiety each student is facing due to being quarantined from family and friends, along with trying to maintain some normalcy with being a student. “

Adams said “there is no substitute for the teacher-student relationship inside the classroom. To think that teachers are going to be able to create the same robust lessons, as before, teach them throughout the day, then be available online to answer questions is not realistic.  In fact, that is not and should not be the focus of what we are doing at this time.”

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The Superintendent said his administration and his teacher “will continue our focus on engaging students and looking out for their mental, physical, and social wellbeing first and foremost.  Requiring more “synchronous” or “live” required lessons each day is not the answer. What is needed instead is educators and students coming together to talk and check in on one another.”

Adams wrote to parents that he feel it is “important to remind our community that each and every educator in the Ashland District is doing the best they can to support our students and families.  I recognize some families want more academic work, however, many have also expressed the workload is too much.  Finding a one size fits all approach is virtually impossible given the enormous challenges each household has on a daily basis.”

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“While many of you have expressed gratitude and support for what is being offered, it is time the entire community recognizes that our educators are doing the best they can given the situation they have been put in.  I respectfully ask that our community stand by the work that is being performed by our educators and stop sending emails and posting on social media outlets disparaging our educators,” wrote Adams to parents.

“It is downright rude, disrespectful, and hurtful.  Not one educator prefers to be educating children through remote means.  They want to be with the children,” wrote Superintendent Adams today, May 1.

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“While I run the risk of alienating some individuals with my previous paragraphs, I stand by our educators and the work they are doing. The educators of the Ashland Public Schools are not only performing the recommendations as outlined by the state they are in fact, going well above them in order to meet the needs of our students.  Is it perfect? No. Are modifications being made daily by teachers? Yes.  However, we educators are humans as well, and life gets in the way of performing at the top of our game, just like it does in your homes. Next week is the start of Teacher Appreciation Week, so it would be a great time to let the teachers know how much we are thankful for their work,” concluded the Ashland Superintendent in his latest correspondence to parents.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.