Remote Learning Wears on Parents, Students and Teachers in Worcester

The technological divide is a continuing problem in urban districts like Worcester Public Schools

NBC Universal, Inc.

Parents, students and teachers lamented the difficulties of remote learning in the Worcester Public Schools after a long call-in school committee meeting discussing the challenges Thursday night.

“There are some concerns, but I just tell him, 'Be very communicative with your teachers,'” said Sara Quinones-Rivera, whose son is a junior at Worcester's Doherty High School.

“It’s different, it’s been a little bit of a struggle, but he knows that’s what he has to do,” she said.

Eliane Gaslva’s two children have been working only on packets because they haven’t yet gotten district-provided computers.

The technological divide is a continuing problem in urban districts like Worcester's.

“If you connect to them, then they know the time they’re going to learn, they’re going to start learning. If they don’t, they don’t care,” Gaslva said.

Students won't go back to classrooms until at least September, a fact that parents and educators are still wrapping their heads around.

“Unfortunately, it’s not a one size fits all, especially for a district where you’re talking just under 26,000 students,” said Roger Nugent, the president of the teachers’ union, Educational Association of Worcester.

He said some of the frustration has been the constantly moving target, as remote learning was extended and then adjusted to meet power standards.

The union has asked the district for more user-friendly and consistent accountability logs, said Nugent, “so there’s less time spent on paperwork and data, and more time spent on teaching and learning.”

But he insists that, instead of giving up, teachers are working extra hours to try to overcome these obstacles.

“There’s been a tremendous effort on the part of the educators to reach kids and their families,” Nugent said.

We reached out to the superintendent’s office for comment, but did not hear back.

The superintendent had previously said remote learning is very difficult in an urban district like Worcester.

Contact Us