AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP)- It’s been nearly a year since public school students were learning in-person, five days a week.
In a couple months, the state wants to see that again, starting with the elementary schools.
The Agawam school district is still doing hybrid learning, but kindergartners and first graders are in the classroom four days a week now, along with the high school. Mayor Bill Sapelli would also like to get students back in the classroom full time by April, but case numbers would have to continue to decline, and ideally, teachers could get vaccinated by then.
“Our school committee is on board, and the majority of our teachers are as well, but there are some who are reluctant without the vaccine,” said Mayor Sapelli. “If that can come sooner or later, which I think it is, that would be the deal-breaker.”
But the Massachusetts Teachers Association is strongly against the state’s plan to fully reopen schools. Their president pointed out that the CDC still recommends 6 feet of distancing at schools, even though the state is now saying three feet is sufficient.
The MTA also pointed out that 28 other states are already vaccinating school employees. They’re asking the legislature “to intervene to protect the health and safety of students and educators.”
Nearly 80 percent of districts have had students and teachers in the classroom on a limited basis but in some communities, it’s still remote learning only.