CSB Votes for Hybrid Model in October
Last night the Concord School Board voted, 8-0 with 1 abstention, to transition to the hybrid model beginning in October.
While I support a transition to hybrid, I believe that the board made this decision too hastily and without enough information to support it. The vote was brought to the table based on the current outlook of COVID-19 in the Concord, area. However, the board failed to allow sufficient time to learn what the workload is for our teachers in the remote model we currently have. The board allowed for exactly one school day to pass, before voting to change the model again. Not allowing the staff, students and families to even settle into the new routine before voting to make a change feels hasty and irresponsible.
Speaking as a parent: having sat through my daughter’s first day of remote learning, it is clear that supporting a remote classroom via Zoom requires the full attention and best efforts of each teacher. How does the board propose that teachers will support both in-person and remote students, for those families that choose to continue full remote, simultaneously? According to the Concord Monitor, Interim Superintendent Kathleen Murphy indicates that “those [teachers] who have been approved to work remotely can continue to do so since some students will be choosing the remote-only option.” Does this mean that in-person teachers will teach in-person students, and remote teachers will teach remote students? If so, does that mean that our children will be assigned to new classrooms come October based on staff availability? Would they later be placed back into their original classrooms once we are full in-person? As per usual, the board is operating in isolation without sufficient communication with parents and teachers, and in a vacuum of information.
One thing our children need, particularly the younger ones in our elementary schools, is consistency. We transitioned from full in-person to full-remote very abruptly, by necessity, in the Spring. We just launched full-remote learning for the Fall and it already looks dramatically different than the students knew last year. Now it looks like they are headed for at least two more changes coming up: first to hybrid, possibly shuffling students to new teachers; and then presumably to full in-person later in the school year. And that optimistically assumes that the COVID-19 statistics will remain steady through the Fall and Winter at their current levels, preventing another shutdown and transition back to full-remote.
Our teachers and families need to know that there is a clear vision and executable plan, not arbitrary deadlines where we’ll hope for the best. I fully support building a plan to transition back to school. It is critical to our students, families, and teachers that we do so. But we do not have a plan. We do not have information. Just a premature decision that brings more questions than answers.
There is a meeting of the Instructional Committee this evening at 5:30 PM, for an update on the return to school plan, and I encourage you all to join! You can find the details on the district’s event calendar, here: https://www.sau8.org/calendar
It is time for a change. Get to the polls this November, and vote for Fanelli for School Board.