Remote Learning for Westborough Public Schools during the Omicron Surge

Remote Learning for Westborough Public Schools during the Omicron Surge

378 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
Superintendent, Westborough High School Amber Bock and

Why this petition matters

"We’re looking at a ... humanitarian disaster" - Michael Siegel, Epidemiologist and researcher at Tufts University Schools Medicine. 

During the near vertical increase in Covid-19 cases that has been observed in Massachusetts, the safety of students and their families in Westborough is at risk.

We urge superintendent Amber Bock, to allow remote learning for a short, targeted amount of time, this is not a call for a return to full remote learning, as we saw in the  earlier days of the pandemic. 

Based on data from other countries, such as South Africa (which has already gone through an omicron fueled surge), and local modeling, the peak of the Omicron wave will arrive around mid-January. If the Westborough Public Schools went remote for the just 9 school days in January, (1/10-1/21) it would likely prevent several hundred infections, and allow for time to create new policies based on emerging data.

As cases skyrocket, there will be a severe shortage of teachers, and other essential staff members. While remote learning is no substitute to in person learning, it is much better than having a total school closure, which could happen if enough staff and students are ill. In addition to this, remote learning will allow infected students to have a chance to participate in school, thus reducing the amount of learning loss compared to having many hundreds of students in lengthy quarantines.

It is important to note that several students in our community, especially those who belong to ethnic minorities, live in multi-generational homes. If Covid is allowed to run rampant through our schools, the majority of students may have mild symptoms but the elderly, and immunocompromised in our communities will be at high risk of developing severe disease, or death. If the schools remain in person, students will get infected, and minority groups will end up being disproportionately affected by severe illness and death, as shown throughout the pandemic. 

We are well prepared to go back into a period of remote learning, as all students either have a school provided Chromebook, or a private computer.

We have the solution to prevent a large wave of infections, and keep our community safe until further measures (like boosters, and mass testing) become widely available. Why wait?

378 have signed. Let’s get to 500!