A determined group of parents pushing for a full return to classroom learning in Lexington, Massachusetts, rallied at a town park Friday evening.
They say their experience with remote learning was “disastrous” when school shut down in March.
“After the failure we saw in the spring--double working parents--we can’t have a repeat in the fall, said parent Rich Perona. “The superintendent didn’t give us a chance for a full return so we’re going to have to demand one.”
For the new school year, state education officials have asked all districts to submit three plans---in class, hybrid and virtual models.
But in Lexington, there’s nothing listed in the district’s blueprint for September that includes a full-return to class.
“We want to know why there’s no option even being considered,” said parent Natallia Hunik. “And prioritized as per the guidelines by the state.”
Lexington Superintendent Dr. Julie Hackett said, in part, “While we do not pretend that everything went off without a hitch during the emergency school closure that was necessitated by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, what I can tell you is that we received hundreds of communications from appreciative parents who do not share the views of the parent group in question.”
But some parents say it’s critical for students to be in school.
“You need to be there,” said Nathalie Huitema. “I think it’s better for the mental health of all kids to be with peers, and not with your parents, nagging.”
But the district says now is not the time to be able to safely return to the full in-person model.
“I think it’s safe for the kids,” said Perona. “If you take the right precautions, wash your hands, let them go back.”