Parents and students request plan to return to full-time school

What it looked like to go to school, September 2014

Weston Public School parent and student frustration with limited in-school time has come to the forefront this past week. Beginning with a tense school committee meeting on Monday, February 8, some parents have begun to organize a concerted effort to return students to school full-time. At least two Facebook groups have been created to discuss plans, and a petition has gathered more than 500 signatures in three days.

Parents have requested that decisions on students returning to school be based on science, and recent CDC and government guidelines. Studies now demonstrate that school spread is “not a thing” (as voiced by a middle schooler). The petition started Saturday (link here) requests a response from the Weston School Committee by February 23, 2021 regarding the district’s ability to implement an increase in in-person learning during March for all students at the Middle School and High School to include 5 half days of 8:45 am – 1:00 pm (no lunch). In addition, the petition requests a return to full-time school for all students on April 1, 2021. Students currently in Remote Learning Academy would continue to learn remotely but have their schedules adjusted to match the in-person model.

The petition goes on to detail possible actions to allow this to happen, including PCR testing during school hours and a continuation of current sanitary and safety measures including masks and hand-washing. The model for full-day would include lunch, with the students encouraged to bring lunch from home.

The petition concludes with the following statement:

NOTE: Consistent with CDC guidelines and the approved and pending plans of several surrounding school districts, we propose that these changes be implemented regardless of the status of vaccinations for teachers, staff and/or students.

As we are sure the relevant parties are aware, the Massachusetts Constitution provides for a right to an adequate education. See McDuffy v. Secretary of the Office of Executive Education, 415 Mass. 545 (1993). To ensure that the district fulfill this obligation, we intend to explore all available options, including legal options, if prompt action is not taken to support the best interests of our students.

Let’s see what the February 23, 2021 School Committee brings.

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