CONNECTICUT, USA — Stratford public schools of all levels are going fully remote through December 4th. The decision comes after teachers rallied Monday afternoon for safer learning conditions. The decision has helped rebuild trust between administrators and teachers.
"We’ve taken some steps to rebuilding the trust between the teachers and the school district. The Superintendent made a commonsense decision tonight and I’m glad that she listened," said Stratford teacher Kristen Record.
Teachers in other districts are asking for their administration to do the same. In Wallingford elementary schools are in-person five days a week while middle school and high school students are fully remote until January 19th.
"Teachers are scared, they’re nervous and they’re stressed about it. They’re worried about exposing their families," said Maria Marcarelli.
Marcarelli teaches second grade at E.C. Stevens Elementary school. She and other teachers say the worry of teaching under these circumstances are causing more stress and making learning conditions even more difficult in an already challenging year.
"We need a consistent system of compliance across the state," said Marcarelli.
The teachers agree learning is best done in the classroom when it is safe. At the moment, they feel a move to remote learning is best for the health of everyone. Including teachers who feel left behind.
"They feel sort of cast aside as if the middle school and high school teacher’s health are more of a concern and we’re not going to worry about elementary," said Marcarelli.
Teachers in Darien are proposing to move classes remotely through the holidays for all levels as well.
"It’s not like our elementary school teachers aren’t being exposed. Actually, they are being exposed at a greater rate," said Joslyn Delancey, a fifth-grade teacher in Darien.
Darien currently has 25 teachers in quarantine with 15 of them at the elementary school level.
"If the goal is to keep everybody safe and prevent the spread of COVID, how does that work when we are pushing for all in," asked Delancey.