BROCKTON – The school district says it wants to hear from families on their plans to send their children back to school before making a decision on classes for fall.
“What I really want to convey to parents is that they will have a choice no matter what we vote on back to school,” Superintendent Michael Thomas said at a school committee meeting. Tuesday.
A poll released this week asks which blended learning plan parents would like to see. The options are for courses three days a week, with either three fixed days, two fixed days and one day alternating or two days a week and a half-day.
There is also a forum scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., where parents can ask questions or voice concerns about Zoom to the Policy Subcommittee.
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After the forum, the subcommittee will meet and go into the details of the district’s options for the fall, said Mark D’Agostino, vice-chair of the school committee.
All school districts have been asked to submit three plans to the state for full in-person learning, a mix of classroom and distance learning, and full distance learning by the end of the month.
The state department of elementary and secondary education is calling for final reopening plans and that the districts make them public on August 10. But D’Agostino said the district planned to release its plans sooner. The school committee is expected to vote on a plan to reopen on August 4.
“We won’t wait that long,” he said Thursday. “Parents want to know and they deserve to know. We don’t want to leave them in limbo.”
The first day of school is September 2 for years 1 to 12 and September 15 for preschool and kindergarten.
If families don’t feel safe sending their children away, students will receive a full distance education, Thomas said.
As part of its plans to reopen, the district will be making decisions in other areas, including the spacing between desks in the classroom.
The condition requires between 3 and 6 feet of distance between desks.
Thomas said the district planned to go 3 feet apart. With 6 feet between desks, there would be fewer students in a classroom and more teachers would be needed.
“I think we’re all pretty much all on the same page that it’s very difficult and it doesn’t look like (6 feet apart) is going to happen here at Brockton,” Thomas said. “We will be very clear even if it was something we wanted to do, we do not have the staff currently on the budget to go with this plan.”
Staffing is one of the reasons the district plans to space offices this way, he said. Brockton will be down 64 teachers due to layoffs or retirements.
At Tuesday’s meeting, members of the school committee asked Richard Herman, the city’s coronavirus consultant who works as an emergency doctor, about some of the science behind the virus and the potential impact decisions to reopen could have. on students and staff.
The prevalence of COVID-19 in the community will also impact decisions to reopen schools, he said.
“We don’t know what it’s going to look like next week or in September,” Herman said. “Of course that’s the problem, even if the schools open on time, you don’t know what it’s going to look like the week after.”
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