Tuesday, September 21, 2021

September Board of Ed: opening comments

 Today's Board of Ed meeting, coming to us (change of venue) from 1 Ashburton Place, starts at 9:30 am. The agenda is here. The livestream will be here

really choppy connection here today...missing large parts of what people are saying...after five restarts, we just jumped to what I assume is current in the meeting with a woman talking about a universal remote learning option during public comment

Commenter says her daughter's just been approved for home and hospital
school ventilation and distancing not possible everyone
children under 12 need time to be vaccinated
was so excited about children going back to school after last year being remote
watched as rates rose, safety protocols made optional 
"We aren't asking for forever; we're just asking for remote options until vaccines are widely available for children under 12"
"asking for ability to keep our children safe"
"all students have to be alive to be learning"

Commenter speaking about "normal childhood" being denied children
mitigation "no longer necessary"
policy must be made on "costs versus benefits"
encourage looking at data in other countries (erm, wow. Hospitalization rates in the UK right now?)

Commenter on MCAS 
"they are who they are and ready to learn what they need to learn next"
"system is not adapting to where the kids are and what they need to learn"
Better information about where students are achieving; adaptive assessments can do that; the current MCAS can't

Moriarty asking for information about ventilation systems across the districts
Riley: ESSER dollars, district responsibility to set up

another welcome to the new student member Eleni Carris Livingston of Wellesley

Peyser talking early college and STEM week

election of Board Vice Chair: nomination of James Morton (again)
elected unanimously

Riley on reopening: round of thanks for reopening
now doing multiple rounds of COVID data
He...really just spoke of requiring masks as a "difficult decision"
I'm also just going to note that so far I think all of these charts go up at the end
vaccines varied across the state; Chelsea singled out for having 81% of 16-19 year olds vaccinated
"we think the best place for kids is at school"
testing program
looking at needs of kids who have medical needs
kids qualified for home and hospital can be remote; individual remote bundles for remote students via virtual schools
National Guard help kids get to school "especially our special needs students"
173 drivers ready for service; currently in eight districts, more to come
test and stay program
"as one of the first penguins out of the gate" on test and stay
"with local control we were undermined by a few factors" on going back at three feet last year
he just listed mental health and suicide, as well as what I assume is a reference to MCAS scores as a result of districts being remote
MCAS in sum: Drops all over the Commonwealth, so not an opening of new gaps

Rouhanifard: high rates of vaccinations in state, mask not hill to die on
argues that we don't need to vaccine children to lift restrictions

Livingstone: distress and difficulties that adults in children's lives are having
encourage social and emotional supports for staff and families
resources to support faculty

Stewart: families and students and schools "a time to heal"
Has to be something that happens that's different
can't assume we go back to "some kind of normal"
She cites Neema Avashia's piece

Morton: effecting Black and brown children differently
"while I want to be optimistic, I want to be cautious"
want to know how Black and brown children and communities
"we during public comment heard two different stories, and that concerns me, that we're hearing two different stories"
our low income communities and our Black and brown communities are not

Moriaty: high needs special needs students and families "fell into a hole"
how much provision of compensatory services for those who have turned 22 since March 2020

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