Mayor Curtatone Discusses Remote Learning In Somerville

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Although Massachusetts continues to do better than most states when it comes to its handling of COVID-19, teachers have said it is too early to get back into the classroom.

Somerville Teachers Association President Rami Bridge said the union is concerned about moving too quickly, when they may have to quickly move out again.

There is a really good chance that whatever we go with, whether that is hybrid or in-person learning, at the end of the day we might end up back with remote instruction...because the COVID cases are going to spike and it would be really great if we spent this time now developing a robust model of education that works remotely so that if we end up back, we're not in crisis learning again because we have built out a better remote system.

He said the union is aware of the negative side effects associated with students staying out of school, but believes health is a priority.

"A lot of classrooms, a lot of rooms in our schools don't have windows, let alone windows that open, that doesn't even get into PPE and testing and contact tracing and all of those things, Bridge said. "And developing a model that works for all those things takes a lot of time."

When it comes to schools reopening, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone supports all remote learning this fall. The mayor said any reopening must be done in a way that ensures the safety of the entire community.

"In this case particularly, the staff, the teachers and the students, and their families and so yeah, we do share their same concerns as we do recognize really the daunting task that's ahead of us," Curtatone said.

He supports the Somerville Teachers Association, which is urging that classes go virtual this fall because schools and teachers need more time to prepare safety models.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports

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