Before what ended up being a 4 1/2-hour meeting Wednesday night, Darien teachers rallied outside the Board of Education building, urging the district to reconsider a proposal to bring all students back to full-time in-person learning on Tuesday.
The district is operating in a hybrid model, with students alternating between classroom and remote learning to keep schools at lower capacities. Lindsay Cruickshank, an eighth grade teacher at Middlesex Middle School, told board members they don’t have the space for more students, or even the right cleaning supplies.
“It’s important that the board and parents know that in most cases, students are not 3 feet apart from one another, both when wearing masks and not,” said Cruickshank. “It’s not a lack of foresight by our custodians and administrators, it’s just simply not possible to fit 25 students into our classroom space and follow CDC guidelines.”
Cruickshank said she asked multiple times for someone to evaluate the space in her classroom, but no one ever did.
Others, though, are eager for a return to full in-person learning. Parent Jon Dunn told the board the hybrid-remote model is not meeting the educational needs of students, like his kindergartner.
“Delaying the full return by a month has only put our kids further behind and damaged the integrity of our public school system,” said Dunn, who wants to see in-person learning five days a week.
He also said remote learning has come with a lot of technological issues.
There was a motion proposed during the meeting that the Darien Board of Education fully endorse the Darien Public Schools administration’s current plan to return to in-person learning on Tuesday.
The motion did not pass.