Local parents react to MTA calling for remote learning until schools are safe

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Teachers Association is pushing for remote learning at the beginning of the school year as the best approach to avoid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Stephanie Valentin of Springfield said she worries about her nieces and nephews returning to school and would rather they continue to be educated from home.

“I don’t think it’s a good time for them to go back,” said Valentin. “Personally, I work at the YMCA and I’m like very paranoid because my daughter is in another classroom. So I’m always thinking, are they cleaning every day? Are they bleaching and hand sanitizing–washing hands?”

The MTA has laid out conditions that must be met for schools to safely reopen. That includes the need for contact tracing, proper air circulation, and purification systems, as well as PPE availability for everyone inside the school building.

Mariya Vasilchenko of West Springfield is a parent who homeschooled her children prior to the pandemic said there are many benefits to teaching your children from the comfort of your home.

“With this pandemic, I think it benefitted a lot of parents to realize how children need that attention from the parents,” said Vasilchenko. “I tend to think kids learn better at their own pace.”

A deal was made between the State’s Education Commissioner and the three major teachers’ unions to allow districts to reduce the school year to 170 days giving staff and teachers more time to ensure the safety of school buildings.

Springfield Public Schools are one of the school systems that will be allowing students to still have the option for remote learning.

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