Yesterday afternoon, Unit 4 released their framework for reopening this fall. It's a long document, with a lot of details to work through, but here's the basic idea, from Superintendent Susan Zola:
Most students will begin on a Distance Learning platform. Small groups of students will be invited back to begin in-person instruction two days a week. Schools will reach out initially to students with Individual Education Plans, Emergent Bilinguals, and students eligible for free and reduced lunch.
Children of Unit 4 teachers and staff will also be invited to in-person learning. Feedback and questions can be directed to [email protected].
I'm a parent of a Unit 4 student who will be distance learning. We'd pretty much decided on that before this plan was in place. It's going to be a strange and difficult year for all involved in this situation, not just for parents and families but for teachers as well. Since this plan was released yesterday, I've seen some terrible comments directed at teachers. Stop. They wish they were welcoming a classroom full of students just as much as you wish you were sending them. They also want to be safe and healthy, and they want their families and their students to be safe and healthy. We are dealing with an impossible situation where every solution is wrong, but don't be angry with teachers. Be angry with those who haven't done the work to get a handle on this virus, be angry with those who've built these systems that are now crumbling, be angry with the fact that even when we aren't in a pandemic public schools are underfunded. There are plenty of directions to direct your anger, leave teachers alone and figure how you can best support them right now.
Photo by Jessica Hammie.