Thursday, April 30, 2020

In the News: “We can’t just pretend everything is normal when we go back to school”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

At-home schooling brings added challenges for special education students and parents
"Alexis Forgit, a Milford High School special education teacher, said some of her pupils have been automatically putting their backpacks on in the morning, not understanding why they are not going to school.

Several weeks ago, Alysia Butler’s sons could step out of class if they felt overwhelmed. One-on-one paraprofessionals, shared aides, behaviorists and other support staff helped them navigate the tough situations that would surface throughout the day.

Class has since shifted onto the online video-conferencing app Zoom in wake of the coronavirus. For the four boys and other children on the autism spectrum, the video calls can be draining.

“Fifteen minutes in, they have to check out,” said Butler, of Hopedale. “They can’t do that (on a Zoom call). You are expected to be there and present.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

UMass Medical School to furlough 100 employees
"UMass Medical School plans to furlough 100 employees for up to six months in an effort to rein in costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school announced the move in an internal memo on Wednesday.

The furloughed workers account for nearly 2% of the medical school’s workforce of around 6,000 employees. They could be brought back sooner than six months, and will still receive their health care coverage while they are furloughed, according to school spokeswoman Sarah Willey.

The furloughs are expected to go into effect next week. Willey did not have any information on Wednesday about which departments would be affected; Wednesday’s memo said they would happen “across all business units.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

In the conversation with State Rep Jeff Roy shared here recently, we talked of his concern for the higher education institutions who were facing financial and demographic challenges before the pandemic came. UMass Medical was the first of three stops made in Worcester on the day I was fortunate to join him for his tour of all 29 higher ed state schools.

Listen to our conversation here

State Rep Jeff Roy in one of the UMass Medical classroom with an interactive system of the body
State Rep Jeff Roy in one of the UMass Medical classroom with an interactive system of the body

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