Educator Group Concerned About Reopening Schools

HYANNIS – The Cape and Islands Educator Action Network says that they have some concerns about reopening schools in the fall.

In a statement, the action network said that they want nothing more than to return to school but that if schools do return, six feet of social distancing needs to be enforced, personal protective equipment in all forms must be supplied by the state or town to schools, and buildings need to be safely ventilated.  

“We are just asking communities to understand that we know that you want your children to return to school and we know we want our students to return to school,” said Chair of the Cape and Islands Mass. Educator Action Network Cheri Armstrong.  

“That is clear we are in agreement in regards to that, we just are not sure if we can do it safely.”

Armstrong added that whether schools return to in-person, remote, or hybrid instruction, focus should be shifted away from MCAS testing.

“I don’t know necessarily if we need the pressure of having MCAS this year hanging over us and looming in the background,” said Armstrong.  

“I don’t have any problem if they want administer MCAS strictly for data collection so we can see the results that this pandemic has had on student learning, but I think that schools would have to be held harmless as well as students in terms of graduation mainly because we have had to navigate a situation that we’ve never had to before.”  

Other concerns the groups has includes social distancing issues with transportation, lunches, and bathroom breaks, as well as other logistical considerations associated with safe in-person education.

“Reasonable accommodations must be made to ensure that we can have learning that takes into account all members of our communities,” the group said in a statement.  

“Returning to learning requires more money and more staff, smaller classes, more bus capacity to enable physical distancing, more nurses, counselors, and education support professionals to address student needs, and an unwavering commitment to using the appropriate PPE and following health and safety protocols.”  

The Cape and Islands Educator Action Network consists of teachers unions from Barnstable, Bourne, Cape Tech, Dennis-Yarmouth, Falmouth, Martha’s Vineyard, Mashpee, Monomoy, Nantucket, Nauset, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, and Wareham.

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the CapeCod.com News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.



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