Education is essential. The time is now. The belief that schools are unsafe is contrary to all current data, evidence, and research from leading health and education organizations such as the CDC, AAP, Mass. Department of Education and Mass. Department of Health. It is unfathomable that what is happening to our children not only is not in the best interest of them, but a factual detriment. While we watch other towns make progress and get their children the in-person time they so desperately need, Norwell is unable to provide a plan to the community, whatever the road block may be. Metrics are commonly cited as the road block, but among being the lowest percentage of positivity in our area, governing bodies like DESE have continually cited, "Districts are expected to prioritize in-person learning across all color-coded categories, unless there is suspected in-school transmission." and "Districts and schools in communities designated gray, green, or yellow are expected to have students learning fully-in person, if feasible"
Norwell is not following science. Not only does the American Academy of Pediatrics hold a strong stance in getting the children back to school, the CDC most recently states "I also want to be clear that there is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen...There is little evidence of widespread coronavirus transmission in schools if proper precautions are taken."
We cannot stress this enough, regardless of education, the social and emotional wellbeing of our children is at risk, and across the country we have seen a surge in pediatric mental health crises. A local Superintendent stated he weighed his pros and cons and ultimately sided with the children, stating in addition "We are not doing this because of DESE. We put this date out on 1/19. We have been working towards a target because that is the professionally responsible thing to do." This local district is moving forward with full in-person learning like many others, and we hope Norwell follows in their footsteps... and truly represents what's in the best interest of our children.