HAVERHILL (CBS) – It’s time for kids to be back in school full time. At least that’s what Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini said at the last school committee meeting. “I think frankly it’s way past time,” Fiorentini said. “Have the children back in school for full time in person learning as of April 1 of this year.”
He has tasked the Haverhill School Superintendent to create a proposal that would end the hybrid learning model for the district and put teachers back in the classroom with students vaccinated or not with proper social distancing rules.READ MORE: CVS Lists Teachers As Eligible For COVID Vaccine Appointments In Massachusetts
The school committee board all voted in favor of a proposal but one, Toni Donais. “This is something that has not happened in 100 years and we can not put our staff and students’ health at risk, and I feel that is exactly what we are doing,” Donais said. Donais is former teacher and administrator for 40 years and strongly pushed back against the mayor’s idea.
“We are doing incredible damage to our children, particularly to our poor and minority children,” Fiorentini said during the meeting.READ MORE: Watch Live @ 9 AM: Baker Announcement On COVID Vaccinations In Massachusetts
Haverhill’s teacher’s union feels they have been blindsided by the mayor’s April 1 date. “Everyone agrees there needs to be a plan, but the idea of having (the superintendent) create a plan that is doomed to fail because we can’t implement it, is a waste of her time and it gives the public false hope,” said Anthony Parolisi, President of Haverhill Education Association.
But many parents like Antonio Martin feel hybrid approach is not working and it’s time to get their kids back the classroom. “As much as I like the idea of them being vaccinated, I would rather my son go back to school where he belongs,” Martin said.MORE NEWS: Boston May Transition Away From Fenway Park As Mass COVID Vaccination Site
Right now, the students will continue with the hybrid model. The superintendent is currently working on a proposal which the school committee will eventually vote on. The next board meeting is on February 25.