GREENFIELD — The clock is ticking for school districts across the state to decide whether students will return for in-person classes or continue virtual learning.
Some school systems’ first day of classes begin in just over three weeks, and leaders have not solidified their final plan yet.
“Yeah, we don’t have an entrance plan,” Tina Sherman said of concerns she has as a teacher.
“It’s going to be hard. Like I said, I haven’t been in my classroom. I haven’t gotten my materials for my first quarter. There’s three weeks left. Usually, I’m in there for the entire month of June from like eight to noon every day of June. So this has been really hard for me to not be in there and getting things ready and prepared.”
Sherman has children in the Greenfield Central Schools system and teaches sixth grade language arts at Greenfield Intermediate. She sat alongside other teachers and parents at a school board meeting tonight.
School board members discussed the district’s decisions to give parents and caregivers the choice between returning to classroom instruction or continuing virtual learning. Superintendent Harold Olin explained that virtual learning will be much more rigorous this school year than it was at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
“We feel like we’re in a better place to provide a good experience for our students that is rigorous where they’re staying up to speed and learning at the standards they’re supposed to know for their grade level,” Olin said.
Olin also explained this semester will likely cost the district more as professional cleaning of classrooms will happen nightly. He added it will likely also take more teachers to handle both online and in-person learning.
“The reality is, when you look at our survey results, you’re probably going to have up to 15% per grade level per building, which doesn’t mean I can just pull a first grade teacher from JB Stephens or Weston, so we’re having to create some additional staff positions for that,” Olin said. “But again, it’s for short-term. We have a rainy day fund for a rainy day, and this is a pretty rainy day.”
Greenfield Central Schools are still working on finalizing their re-opening plans. They encourage families to visit their website for more information.
Other districts have their information posted online as well: