Canton, MA Parents Call For Action To Move Swiftly Towards Increased In-School Learning

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Join us in urging Canton Public Schools to investigate, prepare, and authorize a detailed and thoughtful plan for a phased return to full-time in-person learning in Canton, Massachusetts for those families who choose it. 

The signatories of this letter call on our Superintendent, along with Members of the School Committee, to take swift action towards developing a plan to get our children back in the classroom for more in-person learning, with full-time in-person learning as the ultimate goal. 

There is no dispute that our children are suffering, that remote learning is not an adequate substitute for in-person learning, and that we must have a plan for ultimately returning to full-time in-person learning.  We also know that, thanks to the efforts of our District, Canton Public Schools have seen ZERO in-school transmission of the Covid-19 virus.  National and state data confirms that schools are not super spreaders. 

People are shopping, going out to eat, getting their hair done, going to the gym, and generally going about business as usual, with masks and social distancing efforts in place.  Extra-curricular activities, though different, have thankfully been able to carry on, providing our children with much-needed exercise, socialization, and distraction from what has been a truly unprecedented year.  

Yet, when it comes to the most essential part of our children’s lives - their education - Canton’s students continue to be committed to their homes and screens 3 out of 5 days a week.  They are staring at a screen hours upon end, taking endless breaks, and learning far, far less than they should be.  Our youngest learners stand to suffer significant delay in their progress, while our oldest learners are missing out on critical educational milestones with their futures on the doorstep.  And all of them have now suffered through nearly a year without critical social and emotional learning experiences. 

This petition is a call for action.  We know there are many factors, many challenges, and that there is no easy fix.  But we will never reach the goal of full-time in-person learning without a plan.  Parents and students were told that the hybrid model was part of a continuum - a continuum towards full in-person learning.  Where is the timeline and plan for reaching that goal? 

Towns throughout Massachusetts, including public schools, have been able to accomplish 4 or 5 day in-person learning all year, while others are diligently phasing towards that now.  That is happening around the corner.  At a minimum, it seems that many other towns have plans in the works. They face similar struggles, similar spacing restrictions, similar staffing concerns.  Yet, they have come up with a plan.  What is Canton’s plan?    

We ask the Superintendent and School Committee to prioritize the development of a plan and timeline for the re-opening of Canton Public Schools for full-time in-person learning.

Complacence with the status quo is not acceptable when our children are at stake.