OP-ED: Online Learning Is Not The Right Option For Framingham Now

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FRAMINGHAM – As parents in the Framingham Public Schools, we have been greatly involved in our children’s education and in our support of the various schools they have attended through the years. We have been proud to help because of the wonderful experience that our children have experienced with the help of the Framingham Teachers. They have received an excellent education. We have always supported the Framingham Teachers Association!

Last spring was an unprecedented time. The fear of Covid-19 had gripped us all, and rightfully so. It was the fear of the unknown. We are now nearly into the middle of November. Plans of a “return to school” keep being put off. What was originally October 26th, turned to November 5th, turned into January 2021…. The idea to only have remote learning was based on “science, metrics, and guidance.”

As parents we took this as gospel and waited and hoped for a change. We told our children that the City needs to be out of “red”(even though other schools in “red” cities like New Bedford High School with over 2000 students have been in school, with 3 COVID-19 cases since 10/29/20). Do New
Bedford Public Schools and other open school districts in Massachusetts care less about their students and teachers than Framingham? We kept giving them hope. But after staring at a computer screen for nearly 2 months, hope was fading.

Then, hope was renewed!! The Governor, DESE, Dr. Paul Sax, Education Secretary James Peyser, pediatricians, and psychologists stated that children NEED IN PERSON LEARNING. The metrics, and guidance changed. Obviously a HYBRID APPROACH IS BEST AT THIS TIME. Yet, all over social media I see teachers posting that the schools will NOT reopen. I see a picture of Governor Baker with the caption, THIS IS OUR PROBLEM. THE GOVERNOR AND DESE, posted on the Framingham Teachers Association Facebook Page.

So I ask you, Framingham Teachers Association, do you not want to return for Hybrid In-Person Learning?

Are you willing to let these children sit in front of a computer screen for the entire year? You fear Covid-19?

We all do. We are all facing it. But we still go to work, the market, occasionally a restaurant, a coffee shop….. We are living our lives as carefully as is possible. Do you believe that the sales associate at Target, Walmart, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods does not share the same concerns as all of us? But that is their job.

Ultimately, what our children need today and for their futures is the best education possible under the current circumstances.

Last spring, online learning was the only option.

Today that is no longer the case.

Please return our children to at the very least, a hybrid in person approach, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Respectfully,

George Julakis
Jeff Shimelman

Framingham

editor

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

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