Saturday, November 7, 2020

“What we heard from the governor today is a complete disconnect”

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

"Gov. Charlie Baker, along with health and education officials, on Friday detailed an expectation that schools across the state should have students attending in-person learning and that most of the 351 cities and towns should strive to have students in classrooms full time.

The announcement was made alongside a major revision to the state’s weekly COVID-19 risk map, which has been tied to state guidelines for school and business safety policies. Under the new methodology, which adds population as a factor, the number of communities in the “red” or “high-risk” category will decline from 121 last week to 16 on the map that was scheduled to be published Friday evening.

Baker, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and education officials on Friday cited various pieces of research that found that in-person learning does not lead to increased transmission of the virus. While about 450,000 public school students attended in-person classes last week, Baker said there were only 252 confirmed cases among those students and staff.

“We continue to see too many communities with students learning in remote-only models,” Baker said. “Not being in school poses significant risk for kids, both related to COVID and related to other health concerns — like depression, anxiety and others. In Rhode Island, students learning remotely tested positive at a higher rate than students attending classes.”

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From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION on Friday ramped up pressure on the roughly 23 percent of school districts teaching remotely to return to in-person classes by releasing new metrics that downgraded the risk of COVID-19 in most communities and issuing new guidance suggesting hands-on teaching is safe even in hot-spot areas.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the evidence is clear that in-person teaching is safe. He noted cases in public schools declined this past week and Catholic schools statewide, many of them in high-risk areas, have seen few infections.

“Data collected from school districts across the US, of which we now have several months’ worth, shows schools can open and operate safely in person,” he said.

 “We know nothing can take the place of in-person instruction,” said Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley. “The time to get kids back to school is now.”
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