FRAMINGHAM – Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay released a Q&A based on emails he has received from families in the last 24 hours.
“In the interest of time, I am offering this bulk response in lieu of my typical, personalized response. Just moments ago I recorded a video with these same Q&A items with Spanish and Portuguese interpretation which will be sent out later today as a result of your thoughtful inquiries,” wrote Tremblay in emailing the Q&A.
“Please know that we are doing our best to communicate with our families and staff and while we cannot always anticipate every question, I hope this latest response answers some of the questions that continue to emerge. There will undoubtedly be even more questions and we will do our best to respond. Thank you for your patience with us as we necessarily respond to ever-changing local, state, and federal guidance and a host of logistical challenges that come with trying to provide consistency in an unpredictable environment,” said Tremblay.
SOURCE is publishing the Q&A as a community service.
|Why are you asking us to commit to in-person or remote learning now?||We are trying to establish a baseline to better understand community interest about a return to in-person learning. We know that there are families who are eager to return, regardless of the public health conditions and we know that there are families who would choose to keep their child in a remote learning environment even there was substantial improvement in the public health conditions. We also know that more than 100 of our current staff members have expressed needs related to childcare or underlying medical conditions. We are looking to see if we are able to match the interest of families with the needs of staff.|
|Is my decision binding from now through the rest of the school year?|
No. There will be at least two decision points in the months ahead for changes, one in March and another in May. You should make a decision for your family based on the information that we have today to get through to the next checkpoint. We are doing our best to preserve classroom cohorts and to maintain existing student/teacher relationships and to create a model that honors that. Your honest response about your January intentions is the foundation of the educational model that we can create for the rest of the school year.
|How can you ask us to commit to in-person or remote learning when we don’t have enough information about how the instructional model will look?|
Under the current Agreement between the Framingham Teachers Association (FTA) and the Framingham School Committee, lessons are expected to be delivered in a hybrid fashion. That is, real time instruction for students who are in-person and participating remotely. We are, however, working with our teachers at various grade levels to modify the teaching and learning model to afford time for necessary screen breaks and some independent work.
|Is it possible that my child will be assigned to another teacher?|
Yes, though our goal is to remain as consistent as possible given that relationships have been established. It must also be understood, however, that we have more than 100 staff members who have expressed the need for accommodations due to childcare or underlying health conditions. It’s possible that staff may need to be reassigned should vacancies occur. Again, it is our goal to keep all of our staff and to match the interest of families with the needs of our staff. All of this, of course, is contingent upon public health conditions trending in the right – more healthful – direction.
|If we choose in-person learning, will my child still be using their Chromebook at school to connect virtually?|
Students in school will have their Chromebooks so that they are able to see and connect virtually with their classmates. We have found that with the return of students in Phases I and II, proximity and access to the teacher or support staff has been valuable and a more “real” experience for students.
|What will in-person school look like in January? What will my child’s classroom, recess and lunch look like? What safety precautions will be in place?|
Our district and building administrators have been planning for multiple return-to-school scenarios for months. Cleaning protocols, movement through hallways and open spaces, lunches, recess, arrival, dismissal, bathroom use, and mask breaks have been carefully thought out and will be communicated from your child’s school. We have invested more than $3M in personal protective equipment (PPE) and improved ventilations systems throughout the district. Safety protocols continue to be our priority. Much more detailed information can be found on our district website.
|I have been relying upon the Explorers Program for childcare during the school day. Will that offering change?|
The in-school childcare support that has been offered by the Explorers Program was possible because of the available space in our schools while we have been in a mostly remote teaching and learning model. Given the need for 6-foot physical distancing in all of our schools, we will likely have scale back this program offering once we re-open. Explorers will be surveying families to examine the need of before, after school, and full day. Explorers is working with communtiy partners to examine spaces available throughout the community.
|I have been relying on Remote Learning support from a program other than Explorers, like the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club. If we choose to return to a school experience and the learning model is Hybrid, what are the options for Remote Learning support in the remote weeks or days?|
Community partners have expressed commitment in maintaining full day programming during remote learning weeks or days for students. In addition, our department of Community Resource Development is examining options in the community to maintain an Explorers full day program as well.
|What is the plan for athletics and other extracurricular activities?||We know how important extracurricular activities are to the overall mental and physical health of our students. Assuming the public health conditions allow, we are planning on a January start for extracurricular activities to align with the start of increased in-person learning in our schools.|