By Christine Mulroney
FRAMINGHAM – I know that there has been frustration expressed around returning to in person learning. I feel saddened that this has caused so much stress, frustration and anxiety on the families and the staff here in Framingham. I am hopeful that is behind us.
Staff reported to buildings starting February 1 and have been participating in voluntary PCR testing, following social distancing protocols, wearing masks and developing new routines to support instructing students both in person and remotely at the same time.
Today staff at every building welcomed back students for in person learning. I want to thank educators, custodians and food service workers
for doing such a great job welcoming them. Students returning today joined peers who have been attending in person every day.
Next week, the district will start a hybrid schedule with additional students being invited to attend alternate weeks, joining their peers who are in person daily. And while there is still some anxiety on the part of staff, students are attending and teaching and learning will happen. There will be sounds of students in the halls and classrooms again.
This is a sound we have all come to know and love – and missed. None of us became teachers with the hope that we’d be sitting at a desk looking at a computer screen all day. Now that we are moving towards more in person learning, I hope we can move away from the harsh words that were shared over social media to a place where we fully support a successful return to in person learning by supporting each other.
But families and students: we need your help. This can’t be successful if we don’t all follow procedures and protocols. Here is my ask of you:
- Please don’t send your child to school with COVID-19 symptoms
- Please don’t send your child to school if someone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms
- Please don’t send your child to school if they were a close contact to someone with COVID-19
- Please don’t send your child to school if you have traveled to one of the states not on the approved travel list
- Please use the attestation app to attest that no one in your household has or is suspected of having COVID-19.
- Please consider having your child participate in the voluntary pool testing; it really does make a difference in minimizing the spread
- Please encourage your child to take seriously all safely protocols that are in place such as physical distancing, hand sanitizing and mask wearing
- Please write to the governor, state senators and legislators and challenge the decision that was made to withhold vaccinations from clinics in cities and towns. Let local communities work to get educators vaccinated quickly, in particular educators working with some of our more challenging populations and age groups.
On Wednesdays we will wear our FTA shirts with the slogan “Committed to Framingham’s Future” And we are committed. There will be success if we can all come together for what is needed for the students. Educators are ready; I know that we can count on Framingham families to join with us in keeping everyone safe and healthy.
Christine Mulroney is the President of the Framingham Teachers Association.
Editor’s Note: This was read at the public comment period at the Wednesday night School Committee meeting and then submitted to SOURCE media for publication.