School Committee Testimony

Many parents spoke in favor of a remote options for students at the Boston School Committee meeting held on September 1, 2021, including two of our founders. Use the links below to read their testimony:

Comments from Concerned Parents

Below are comments made by parents who completed our brief Parent Survey. If you would like to complete this survey or share it with your networks, use this link: https://forms.gle/5CzLu9wYLvWrZvkB6

“I’m a single mom of 5 under age 12 with preemie twins. I don’t want my kids to get sick and die or have long term affects from Covid. Simple as that. No one else seems to care. I do. My kids were home all year and did not get sick once. I am sick stressing over this. Bring back remote learning please, I’m begging you – Taren

For their safety AND for equity. High risk kids deserve access to safe education, too.

– Julie

“I am a cancer survivor and mother of three. I am immune compromised and worry if I send my 2nd and 4th graders to school they will bring virus home to me! I am unable to receive the vaccine at this time because of health reasons so we have had to be extremely careful and have been since the beginning of this pandemic! My family needs me and I am so fearful of getting sick and not being here for them. Education is very important to us, but not at the expense of our health & safety! I feel like it’s a no brainer for schools to offer remote learning with the numbers being so high!!” – Laura

“My 5 year old son is medically fragile and high risk for Covid as well as being special needs. The options available— home/hospital tutoring or virtual schooling — remove him from his BPS school community or cause him to lose his seat in his ABA class, and the Covid mitigation strategies are not enough to allow him to attend school before being vaccinated.” – Janet

“I’m concerned about COVID spread, especially in the cafeterias where there is no real plan.”

– Shaleen

“All three of my children’s grandparents are living in our home this fall. I feel very anxious about having my elementary school-aged children in school in person. I am also dismayed that remote learning isn’t at least offered as a backup option. What happens if there is a local outbreak or evidence of spread among schools? Last year, DESE asked schools to be nimble and able to switch between three learning modules (in-person, hybrid, and remote) quickly. This year, the only option is 100% in-person, with no Plan B. Without a statewide vaccine mandate for teachers, without a vaccine for kids, and with the Delta variant in play, things are not actually safer for children this year and having children in school without the ability to distance (because 100% of kids are in-person) is very reckless.” – Alexis

“My kids are both too young to be vaccinated and I want them to be safe. I don’t trust the school to keep them safe. The schools are old, the ventilation is horrid. For those who want their children to go full time, let them go but don’t take all the remote options available away from the parents who don’t feel it’s safe.”

– Kelly

“I am not comfortable with the current COVID safety protocols surrounding unmasked time especially lunch. The schools are not following CDC guidance for unmasked time and the risk for transmission in schools is too high for unvaccinated kids. For some kids the anxiety about the pandemic also makes it extremely difficult to concentrate in person, particularly those who have had a death in their immediate family.” – Tracey

“The delta variant is more contagious and we are still not sure of all the health impacts (including long term) of COVID in children. My child has had asthma in the past. Despite heroic work by school leaders, teachers and staff, Boston school buildings are not able to offer sufficient ventilation. Until our child can be vaccinated, I would feel much more comfortable with him attending remote learning. I have heard from many families who feel the same way.” – Sarah

We have a high risk 2 year old in our home. My 5 year old is starting Kindergarten, as much as I desperately want her to have a “normal” school year, I’m very worried about her contracting COVID and bringing it home to her brother. I’d feel better if there were a remote or hybrid option for her until she could be vaccinated. -Katie

“I am concerned about sending my kids back to school before they are vaccinated and while Delta is rapidly spreading. I am particularly concerned about plans for the children to eat lunch and snacks indoors. In addition, we will be welcoming a new baby into our family in December. We are extremely nervous about sending our school-aged children back to school after the holidays knowing that many families will travel and gather in large groups just before returning to the school environment. We are worried about the well-being of our older children as well as the newborn, and the grandparents (as we all live communally in one household).” – Kate

“My child is medically complex and would benefit from the added level of protection until a COVID vaccine is available to children under 12. I want her to learn, but I also want her to do so safely. The current measures outlined by BPS do not adhere to the CDC guidelines, they merely consider them aspirational. That is not acceptable.”

“I’m pregnant and will have a newborn at home any day now- both the baby and I will be high-risk and if there are any outbreaks in my son’s preschool class we would need to bring him home to quarantine to mitigate any risk. He should have the option for remote learning should this happen so he doesn’t have to miss out.” – Shelbi

Of my two children in BPS, both excelled in the remote option. One is too young to be vaccinated and the other is OCD and dangerously anxious over lack of social distancing at school. As a family we are shocked that BPS is sending students into full capacity schools with “cloth” face masks. Both lack of social distance and face masks are found to be highly ineffective against transmission. – Emily

“I am reliving the same nightmare as last fall only this time things are much worse. The very things we know that will help keep our kid safe- social distancing, cohorts, vaccinated adults, and pooled testing- are underutilized or just plain thrown out the window despite a more severe, more contagious variant.”

– Jessica