The Jan. 27 hour-long presentation by Superintendent James Jette and his leadership team of assistant superintendents, principals and program specialists should go a long way to easing tensions, concerns and worries of parents and guardians concerned about their children’s elementary school education during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of thinking and a lot of looking ahead” went into the planning of the revised hybrid and remote models to add time each day teaching and learning, said Karen Spaulding, assistant superintendent for curriculum and human resources.
Indeed, the town was under scrutiny by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to increase its learning time for students. More in-person and synchronous time will be added. It’s a modest amount and will result in learning spread over a traditional five-day schedule. The plan, to begin Feb. 8, will never satisfy all parents. Only a full return to school, as in pre-pandemic protocol, will do that.
Vaccines to offer protection against COVID-19 are beginning to roll out. There’s a way to go on that; be thankful you are alive or that your older loved ones are alive and be patient. When the vaccine is available for you or your family, get it. Another public health crisis is emerging, especially on social media, that is leading some people in other cities and towns not to get the vaccine. It is a sad and unfortunate mystery why reports of healthcare or personal care providers would not want to be vaccinated. If not for their own protection than for the people in their care.
Links to the Jan. 27 presentation can be found on the school’s website, miltonps.org. The video of the presentation also can be watched on Milton Access TV (MATV) at miltonaccesstv.org, titled “Milton Public Schools Elementary Model Update Presentation.”
Key to the night’s presentation, facilitated by MPS Communications Coordinator Stephanie O’Keefe, are the list of questions asked by parents or other concerned adults and the answers given.The list of frequently asked questions can be found through a link on miltonps.org, included in the PowerPoint lecture.
Parents and guardians deserve credit for navigating the schedule grid that can be complicated, at first glance. It is challenging to keep track of one’s own professional and personal schedule let alone a vastly different student cohort schedule.
“I want to thank all of the parents and guardians,” Jette said before the Q&A portion of the Jan. 27 virtual presentation. The Q&A includes questions on bus schedules and seat availability, cleaning of rooms for students in the hybrid model and MPS teaching staff acceptance of the longer teaching time model set to roll out next week.
“We understand you’re passionate, you’re advocating for your children,” later adding, “We’re all in this together.”
And we are. Let’s stay that way, thinking of other’s needs and doing the best we all can to help ourselves, our families and other people to get through this historic occurrence.
– Lisa D. Connell