Worcester parents nervous about sending their children back to school as district announces reopening plans

Worcester parents nervous about sending their children back to school as district announces reopening plans

WORCESTER, Mass. — On Monday evening, officials with the City of Worcester and Worcester Public Schools announced their plans to reopen in the fall through an online meeting. Parents, students, and staff members were welcome to listen.

Many parents in Worcester say they’re nervous about sending their children back to school so soon.

“Because of the coronavirus and everything, I know kids don’t listen,” said Sandy Soto, a Worcester parent.

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Soto is just one of the many parents/guardians of the 25,0000 students from the Worcester School District. For her 5-year-old daughter, it’s her first time going to school.

“She is a little scared too,” said Soto.

In an average 750-square foot classroom, pictures were laid out showing everyone what 6 feet apart would look like, allowing seven students in classroom at a time. If students are three feet apart, then it would allow 17 students in class.

All students will be given learning devices.

Students ranging from preschool to kindergarten will get an iPad and kids from 1st through 12th grade will be getting a Chromebook, with internet spots as needed.

School officials proposed two models for students, and they will be broken down in 3 groups, allowing up to 50 percent of students in school at a time, and all of them, wearing masks.

“What this means is students would be divided into 2 bodies. Cohort one, and two. Each cohort attends school 2 days per week,” described a school official.

Students are expected to attend in-person classes for two days and then spend three days on remote learning. Or, how another model suggests, students would attend one day in school and complete their studies on the other four days remotely.

“The online [aspect] and talking to teachers through the phone is the best thing to do now,” said Keishary Amill of Worcester.

The analysis shows that typically up to 71 students at a time can fit inside a large school bus. Now, if students are three feet apart, then only up to 24 students will be allowed on the bus.

“Stay six feet [apart] and always wear a mask, and always sanitize,” said Amill.

According to the model, it’s also okay if students want to revert back to full-time online learning - that’s the way the model was built. You can find the 59-page plan here.

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