School Committee Zooms This Afternoon…and some Owl Opinion
Disclaimer: this is an opinion piece. Ignore at will but the agenda is true and right, and available here at the Weston town site. The Weston Schools site is not updated and I worry about losing Jake.
The Weston School Committee meets today, January 17, at the unusual time of 4 pm and in what appears to be the new normal of zoom. The Superintendent’s preliminary budget appears to be on the agenda. The Owl does not know why the 4 pm rather than the usual evening hour but imagines it has to do with educators/administrators being able to attend right after school release time and/or the School Committee will be having a long night with Executive Session involved after the regular meeting. Unfortunately the time means the Owl cannot attend. Yes, I know, Owlets, no one cares.
The Owl, however, questions the zoom situation. The last SC meeting was on zoom I thought because of a Covid spike after the holidays. No spike. Or are we meeting by zoom because the Superintendent is out this week? Or do we have better attendance by zoom? Can we not do hybrid? The kids did hybrid. We can do hybrid.
Those of you who passed by the Triangle of Doom (that is the Newton/Wellesley/School triangle in front of Case House) on Monday, January 9, will have seen Weston teachers picketing and some signs were noting that while the educators were in person, the School Committee is on zoom. You can see the video posted by the Weston Education Association here on their facebook.
As I have expressed to the president of WEA, the Owl is personally deeply concerned with picketing because of both safety to the educators themselves (they have also picketed the Intersection of Doom) due to regular traffic but also because I have two Owlets who are driving with permits and I can tell you the distraction of hey! there’s my English/history/elementary school teacher is not great. Long sentence, deep thoughts.
On the good side, picketing does bring attention to the WEA which has been somewhat muffled by being allowed short comment at public meetings that are not in person. One of the Owlets asked many questions after safely navigating the doom triangle without mowing down any teachers–and this situation is one that the students are going to understand more and more. This is not “the teachers union” to them. These are the folks who teach them, and lead them and support them every day. Complicated, I know.
As reported last year on the Owl, the negotiations have moved to mediation. So, here I am at the end of what I know. I do not know if the teachers will picket again or strike or attend tonight by zoom. I’m no negotiator, and I completely respect and appreciate what everyone in the decision-making positions is facing. The Owl does have emails out to various of the parties involved and a couple of meetings set, hopefully with cookies involved.
I am hopeful, always always hopeful, that we can make this a win-win-win situation (the students are the third win, of course). Weston is the Wildcat Den, folks, and we’re all in it.
School Committee, 4 pm, Tuesday, January 17.