FRAMINGHAM – Almost 9 out of every 10 families in the Framingham Public School District families returned their commitment form.
“While the results vary from school to school, overall 51.9% of students are planning to return to school for in-person learning and 37.6% of students will be continuing to learn remotely,” said Framingham Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay in an email to the 9-member Framingham School Committee.
There are 864 students for whom we have not received a response, said Tremblay in his email. That is as of 8 a.m. today, December 11.
“Over the last week schools have been making every effort to contact these families and secure their responses. This includes multiple phone calls and text messages to families, use of Google Forms, outreach to emergency contacts, and the utilization of other district resources including district interpreters and bilingual staff members to assist with these efforts,” said Tremblay.
Based on the forms returned:
- Phase III and Phase IV Students Committed to In-Person Learning = 4,247
- Phase III and Phase IV Students Committed to Continued Remote Learning = 3,078
- Phase III and Phase IV Students Not Yet Committed to Either Model = 864
Students in Phase I and II – about 500 to 550 students – went fully remote on Monday, December 7, after cases began to increase in the district.
Phase I students – highest needs – returned to the classrooms on October 5.
Phase Ii students – high needs – returned to the classrooms on November 5.
There have been 34 total cases in the school district, but 17 of those cases have happened in December.
“School and district leaders have been working non-stop since March of last school year to plan, develop, and re-develop instructional scenarios based on a virus that continues to stand in the ay of our full return to in-person teaching and learning. In the weeks ahead our tireless teams of administrators will continue to develop models for our long-anticipated return to school. It must be understood however, that even the most well-designed model that strives to meet the needs of students and staff is conditional upon a number of factors,” wrote Tremblay to the School Committee.
The Superintendent has targeted January 4 as when hybrid learning with in-person classes can begin, but that is predicated on how the COVID surge is in the City of Framingham.
“First among them is the need for a notable improvement in the public health conditions.
There have been more than 860 cases in the City since Thanksgiving.
Framingham has had a total of 4,100, coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. Framingham has about 75,000 residents.
More than 20% of all the cases in the City of Framingham during the pandemic have been diagnosed since Thanksgiving.
Framingham was averaging 8 cases per day around Labor Day, the City of Framingham is now at 63 cases per day per 100,000 people.
The Framingham Public School district has about 9,000 students.
“Other factors include, but are not limited to, the availability of staff in consideration of medical accommodations under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and the possibility of increased requests for leaves of absence due to childcare needs in the anticipated wake of the December 31, 2020 expiration of EFMLA,” said Tremblay to School Committee members.
” In addition, school bussing is an important variable as the availability of drivers and physical distancing requirements for students to be transported will be impactful to our ability to return those students who have expressed their interest in doing so,” said Tremblay.
Plus, the Framingham administration & School Committee signed a memorandum of understanding with the Framingham Teachers Association, in which they agree to 6 foot distancing in the classrooms.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has recommended a minimum of a 3 foot distancing, Framingham has committed to 6 feet.
Tremblay has said the schools do not physically have the space to allow for all students back into the classrooms at 6 foot distances.