LETTER: ‘A Rush To Head Back To School Is Not Acceptable’

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FRAMINGHAM – I want to share what life was like in our classroom when we were in the building for almost 8 weeks.

We had little guidance from our administrators. There wasn’t any thought from administrators on how to get students off of their buses or how students would complete routines, such as eating snacks in the classrooms.

The contract between the Framingham Teachers Association and district includes guidance, but it was not strictly followed.

Making sure that students wore face masks and maintained 6-feet of social distancing were not enforced. Lunches were cut short and staff were not given mask breaks, unless we ate lunch in our cars. Finding places for all staff to safely have lunch and take mask breaks will certainly be more difficult when everyone has returned to the buildings. Educators did not feel supported during those 8 weeks. While we never showed our stress to the students, we brought it home with us every day.

We need to think through these actions carefully; a rush to head back to school is not acceptable.

Imagine any other big business telling its employees to return to work when the state prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people at a time. This does not make sense – we need a better hybrid model or to continue with remote learning as other districts have done.

The stress this situation is placing on families and our students is unfair to everyone.

We should make a decision as a whole school community that will allow for all students to be successful.

Even with air purifiers, district-provided cleaning supplies, and PPE such as masks, gloves, and gowns, we still had cases of COVID in our schools.

With vaccinations for teachers on the horizon, it is disappointing that the district will not wait to have us return to in-person learning.

I have not, and still do not, feel safe returning to in person learning.

How will we guarantee the health and safety of our school community when COVID was spread throughout our first attempt
at a return to in person learning in November?

Nicole Castoreno

Paraprofessional at King Elementary in a Autism Spectrum Disorders room

Framingham resident

editor

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