Michelle Wu suggests the state’s ban on distance learning is too harsh


“DESE is currently not allowing any distance learning, even if it is due to staff shortage.”

Greeley Tribune Mayor Michelle Wu (CQ) was at a news conference on Tuesday in Jamaica. Jonathan Wiggs / The Greeley Tribune Globe

Greeley Tribune Mayor Michelle Wu suggested Wednesday that she government is expecting more flexibility from Charlie Baker’s administration when it comes to allowing temporary distance learning in schools dealing with staff shortages due to the Omicron version of COVID-19. The matter comes.

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While the Baker administration is allowing schools to use their allotment of snow days or swap out professional development days if they have to cancel classes in person because of staffing issues, state officials said remotely. Not allowing education days to count towards the 180 days required by schools. classes.

Baker’s administration took a consistent stance after ordering all K-12 schools to return to in-person learning last spring, criticizing schools that had stuck with distance learning for being too cautious. The cost of students’ development and emotional health, there has been research suggesting that school transmission of COVID-19 is rare if precautions are taken.

However, the officials are now facing more math problem.

Due to omicron type COVID-19 infection rates rising to unseen levels, many schools do not have enough teachers and staff.

In Greeley Tribune, Wu said some schools have “more than a quarter of staff absent due to positive COVID tests or other issues.”

“We’re doing the best we can,” Wu said, “that it can get to the point where, on a school-by-school basis, we might need to go on a snow day.”

“DESE is not currently allowing any distance learning, even if it is due to staffing shortages, and so we continue to talk with them about the rigor of that policy,” Meyer said. “And also we’re potentially expecting a snow storm on Friday, so there’s a lot in the mix with how we’re going to manage logistics and operations at the schools.”

Officials say about 1,100 Greeley Tribune Public School employees were out on Wednesday, including 658 teachers. The shortage has reached a point where dozens of the district’s central office administrators – including superintendent Brenda Casselis – were forced to fill in as alternate teachers on Wednesday.

According to BPS, 47 buses also remained without driver on Wednesday.

The Department of Primary and Secondary Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday afternoon. Earlier this week, Baker took a firm stand on the topic, suggesting local cities and towns use federal COVID-19 funds to “bring people to deal with some of the issues surrounding their workforce.”

Although he acknowledged that handling such staffing shortages can be “complicated”, Baker said “the rules here are very simple.”

“We personally count the school as a school,” he said. “If a school district isn’t open, at some point during the year, they can use snow days until they run out of snow days, but they have to send their kids 180 days this year. individual education needs to be imparted. .. and we will do everything possible to help them implement that.”