As a former teacher, current elementary volunteer, and grandmother of a Unit 5 student, I feel that what’s best for students, teachers, and staff health was not considered when Unit 5 announced their reopening plan. High school teachers have only half of a class at a time- and no in person class once a week while grade schools have full classes daily, with younger students who will likely struggle more with masks and social distancing. It is impossible to social distance 25 kindergartners in a classroom.
With the current plan and a staff of over 1,600, there will be teachers, administrators and staff die this school year, while many others could be left with a lifetime of lasting conditions. And of course there will be a tremendous reach of the virus to family members and others.
While it’s nice that families have the “option” to send their children or not, teachers and their families can’t just opt out.
Unit 5 should focus on the health of students, teachers and families, rather than getting children out of their homes five days a week.
Unit 5 should consider creating an AB schedule for elementary like they did for secondary (better option), or start the year online (best option).
With the current plan, we’ll be back to Phase 1 and having paid a high price. Do the right, smart, and safe thing, Unit 5, for teachers and staff who do so much for our students.