The ongoing dialogue over hybrid being four versus two days is wasting precious time. Redeveloping trust will take time, and the focus needs to stay on safely implementing a full school schedule beginning in August. What is happening now is sowing division and is creating daily confusion among staff, students and families. It is also putting the health of many at risk.
School board member Liz Barrett’s “perspective” on April 20 left out some important facts. There are still teachers struggling to find vaccines, and many teachers made their own arrangements for their inoculation. Fortunately, my friends assisted me in late February, or I might not be writing this letter. I was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 8, 2021. This was more than two weeks after my second shot. School is my only gathering, so this is where I was exposed. My symptoms were unusual, and I could have exposed many if not for extensive nausea and extreme fatigue as my warning signs.
I emailed Ms. Barrett the evening of April 8, making a plea for a return to virtual instruction if things continue to spiral. My plea was ignored, and now look at the loss. Did my Spanish students deserve to lose two weeks of precious instruction as they bravely navigate a high school course? Did my sweet sixth graders, still so new to the middle school experience, deserve to miss their teacher and wonder what was wrong? Is my life less valuable than teaching at school? I guess that the Board of Education would say yes. And to quote Ms. Barrett, my experience is “a kick to public education and to the profession of teaching.” My illness stole learning time from my eager students, and I certainly hope that someone begins to listen.