LYNN, Mass. — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state, Lynn Public Schools officials have decided to switch students to learning remotely until Feb. 5, 2021.
Lynn is currently considered a “red zone,” meaning the city is considered to be at high risk for COVID-19 infection.
Lynn school parent Diana Duran is upset with the school district that her two sons will be in remote learning until early next year.
“They need to get on board. At the end of the day, it’s for the kids to learn and they’re not learning,” she said.
And she’s especially concerned for one of her sons has special needs.
“I’m very disappointed because I pay my taxes and my son is going backwards instead of going forward and they should have better plans for this,” she said.
The Lynn School Superintendent, Patrick Tutwiler, said the call to remain remote is not ideal but a necessity.
In a letter to parents, Tutwiler said in part:
“The current context of surging positive COVID-19 cases among school age children and adults alike in our community has created a situation that makes the introduction of an in-person hybrid schedule for all students inappropriate.”— Superintendent Patrick Tutwiler
Students will go back to learning remotely for the next two and a half months, but the district will still provide in-person learning for high needs special education students and those with limited formal or interrupted education as of Jan. 19, 2021.
Disappointed families, however, said remote learning doesn’t work for everyone. That includes Haidar Beaiwi whose two sisters go to Lynn Public Schools. He said they find remote learning difficult.
“I have two sisters and they’re always telling me they are not learning anything. They just sit there and watch their teachers talk for 3 hours 2 hours,” he said.
For a week, Gov. Charlie Baker has recommended that schools across the state move to in-person learning. Baker has cited data that children are less prone to catching and spreading the coronavirus. But the school district stands by its decision saying it’s a safety concern for students and teachers.
But as a working parent, Duran said it’s just impossible to do it all and her kids are suffering.
Exasperated, she knows COVID is contagious but if the schools could put safety protocols in place it would be a start.
“You could get it from anywhere, but the point is, I pay taxes for a better life for my kids and myself and I’m not receiving it,” she said.
“I take no pleasure in extending remote learning. I know full well the impact that this approach has on students and families alike,” said Tutwiler. “Further, I continue to believe deeply in the research that places in-person learning and all of the related benefits over virtual learning.”
Tutwiler stressed “current context of surging positive COVID-19 cases among school age children and adults alike” among their community has created the need for school officials to step in and stipulate measures to curb the spread of the virus. Along with that, Tutwiler says he fears there could be an increase in COVID-19 cases around the holidays.
Tutwiler will be hosting a virtual town hall for all Lynn families on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. Parents and guardians will receive links for this event on Dec. 1.
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