LETTER: Framingham School Staff Getting ‘Mixed Messages’; Feeling Frustrated, Confused, & Disrespected’

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FRAMINGHAM – On November 5th, Framingham Public School staff will welcome more of our high needs students back to in person learning. I know that our custodians and maintenance department staff members have been working hard to get buildings ready to receive these students. I want to take this
opportunity to thank them all for their efforts.

There is no denying that staff are nervous. There is a general feeling of disregard for concerns of staff when questions are raised about procedures
and protocols in keeping everyone safe. Where are students eating lunch & taking mask breaks? Is there a procedure for working with a student who
is non-compliant about wearing a mask? Who is supervising the isolation room? What happens if there is more than one person who needs to be in
the isolation room? Do we even know who is choosing to return to in person learning and who has chosen to remain remote?

This week, on Monday November 2, rumors circulated about the maintenance staff being quarantined. No official words came from the district to staff members. Staff members read about it in the Framingham Source. This is not the first time staff heard about a COVID19 positive case in the district by reading the Source. The maintenance staff work across the district and have been working in every building to prepare for student arrival tomorrow.

Shouldn’t leadership, out of courtesy to staff who may have been around their building when maintenance was there, have been informed? Just because you are not designated a close contact doesn’t mean you don’t deserve information that could impact you. If we can’t trust that we will be provided this basic information, how can we trust that everything is being done to keep us safe? We get so many mixed messages we are left feeling frustrated, confused and disrespected.

So, we are left thinking, what has not been done in buildings to prepare for student arrival? Are hands free water bubblers installed? In the recent
FPS Covid Project Work Status dated November 4, it is reported that they are all installed, but teachers at Walsh are reporting they are not and that
there were cases of water dropped off. Are the screens installed for teachers to open windows for outside air? When were HVAC filters last changed and when do they need to be changed again?

We’ve reported this before – every staff member is overwhelmed, working around the clock to prepare lessons for students and also being asked to
complete more paperwork and collect more data. In person staff could potentially have in person and remote students and this adds an additional
level of stress and challenging workload that has not been clarified. Not to mention that we are still red, with COVID19 positive cases increasing in the
0-19 age group and we will be bringing students into the buildings. Parents, please ask questions about the physical structure of your child’s day. What
does arrival look like? What does lunch look like? Will students have recess? Where is the mask during recess? How are students being monitored using the bathroom? Educators have asked these questions.

Answers have often led to additional questions. Time has run out.

Respectfully submitted

Christine Mulroney, President
Framingham Teachers Association

Editor’s Note: This was read during the public comment period during the School Committee meeting tonight, November 4, and then submitted to SOURCE media for publication.

editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176

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