Discover more from 1620Today from Jack Gately
Decision for full return of high school students defeated, middle school students to return April 12th full time, in person
Middle school students will return to 5-day a week in person learning on April 12th, but the school committee defeated a separate motion by a 4-3 vote to authorize high school students to return the same day. Elementary students were previously approved to return March 29th.
The committee's action went against Superintendent Christopher Campbell's recommendation to return both middle and high school students on April 12th, the beginning of fourth term.
Campbell noted some students were performing well under the hybrid model, with more A grades earned, but also more F grades being issued. "The question is weather not we're going to able to support those students not doing well in the hybrid model...I think what this pandemic has demonstrated to us, is the power of the classroom teacher...at high school our students have one physical contact day, on any given week."
School committee member Michelle Badger moved to split the middle and high school decisions as two separate motions, one for middle school and a different motion for high school return.
The middle school vote passed by a 6-1 vote, with only member, James Sorensen voting no.
The motion to return high school students full time in person was favored by members Morgan, Burgess, and Sorensen. Members Pizano (recently appointed to fill vacancy), Lacombe-Heywood, Badger and Savery voted no.
Committee member Vedna Lacombe-Heywood said she was trying to "understand the rush" given the state education Commissioner Riley has not provided a mandatory date for a middle and high school return.
Conversely, committee member Robert Morgan said "we should take a leadership decision" before the state makes the decision for the committee. The committee might be forced to authorize a return of high school students if Riley orders it.
Some school committee members expressed concern about returning just prior to April vacation, but Superintendent Campbell noted there was no spike after February vacation.
Campbell allowed "there is no perfect solution".