Springfield students to begin school year home in September

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State education officials announced new guidance for teachers in school districts that are starting the year with remote learning.

Students in Springfield will start the school year from home on September 15, and the district made it clear, so will the teachers. The state has put it on local school districts to craft their own plans for the new school year. But they are now requesting that teachers be in their classrooms for remote learning.

DESE believes teachers would have more reliable internet access at school, and administrators could monitor the number of instruction students receives. The Springfield school district already voted though to have teachers work from home.

Superintendent Dan Warwick defended their decision to keep their teacher home while educating remotely here at city hall Monday. Given the uncertainty surrounding HVAC systems in their school buildings, he said this is the best way to keep teachers safe.

“The safety of our staff and students is number one. Some of our schools have over 200 employees,” said Warwick. “Bringing them all together right now so right now in light of what happened in Arizona where people and staff were in there just planning and they had a problem. It just wouldn’t be the right decision for Springfield.”

Warwick said a specialist is conducting a review of their school buildings’ HVAC systems to ensure they are at the highest standard, and they won’t make a decision to bring back all of their staff and students until they get the results back.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association also fired back at the state’s new guidance for teachers.
Their president said, “they are 100 percent behind any of our locals that choose to reject this recommendation.”

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