Partial school reopening slated for November 16

Hybrid classrooms on tap if virus stats allow it

By JOSH RESNEK

Monday night, for twenty minutes, during an Everett Public Schools on-line informational, Superintendent Priya Tahiliani said that the EPS are scheduled to go hybrid with a reopening of classroom instruction on November 16.

Tahiliani cautioned that the metrics must be weighed and measured against required state standards and that the hybrid reopening could be dashed by a drastic change in statistics regarding the effects and extent of the COVID-19 spread in the city.

“In the meantime,” she said, “we’ve developed a comfortable rhythm” despite all the obstacles placed upon the public schools by the exigencies of the virus.

During a 20-minute Superintendent’s Report that was produced by her office, she made the point that “despite all odds” and with “everyone’s working together” that education was advancing in Everett despite the virus.

The EPS is monitoring daily and weekly figures to know what might be possible when November 16 rolls around. With three weeks left to go, it is anyone’s bet what might occur when the 16th arrives.

Continue reading Partial school reopening slated for November 16

Matewsky leads charge on Charter change

Everett High School. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Wants return to ward voting for school committee, councilors

By JOSH RESNEK

The dean of the city council, at large Councilor Wayne Matewsky, is taking the lead in returning the city’s voters to yesterday about how the city’s voters elect their representatives on the city council and the school committee.

Two weeks ago, the city council took up the matter, at Matewsky’s request.

Now Matewsky is actively moving the measure forward by proposing a Charter change which turns back the political clock when Everett’s voters elected individual ward councilors and school committee members from the wards they reside in.

The present scheme has Everett voters electing ward councilors with citywide voting tallies.

“I’ve been around a long time. I know going back to how we always elected our councilors and school committee people makes great sense. I mean, it really has to change. The old way was the better way,” Matewsky told the Leader Herald and his colleagues two weeks ago.

Not everyone agreed with him.

Councilor Fred Capone said he believed the present voting protocol represents a purer form of democracy than returning to the old way.

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Remote school attendance lower than hoped

Results much stronger in K-8

By JOSH RESNEK

As widely expected by school administrators, remote school attendance numbers are sufficient but not nearly as good as they can be.

The city’s school learning centers also scored lower attendance rates than were hoped for since school began.

Everett High School Attendance numbers were somewhat softer than hoped for while K-8 appeared to be pretty strong.

This information was mad public at Monday evening’s School Committee meeting by Superintendent Priya Tahiliani at a time when public school systems all over the nation are experiencing the same conflicts and difficulties with remote instruction.

In New York City, the mayor there announced the closure of dozens of public schools this week that had reopened because of a rise in the virus numbers.

In Massachusetts, the state is on high alert in lower income “red” cities like Everett, where social distancing is made almost impossible in such crowded circumstances.

Everett is one of the most densely populated cities in Massachusetts.

At Monday night’s School Committee meeting, which was held online, School Superintendent Tahiliani spoke honestly, openly and without hesitation about the problems the Everett School System is facing.

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Smooth opening for schools, remote learning underway

Teacher Rebecca Milley teaching her students about the seasons online from the Whittier School. (Photo courtesy of the EPS Facebook page)

EPS studying impact, results

By JOSH RESNEK

In one of the most understated openings of the public schools in the past century just completed, administrators, teachers, students and parents are all weighing the initial results.

As the second week of remote instruction by computer and chrome books got underway, the verdict is still out as to the efficacy of remote learning and exactly what effects, negative or positive, such a learning cycle and experience will have on Everett’s more than 7,000 public school students.

Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani has presided over the opening during this, her first six months of service, during one of the most difficult, trying, and unlikely of school openings.

Tahiliani apparently expressed relief and satisfaction that the new school year was underway, and that learning had started up again.

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Remote school opening a reckoning

By JOSH RESNEK

Everett Public Schools opening off campus is a reckoning.

Parents know this. Teachers understand this. Administrators of the school system view this as an earthquake in public school education.

It is the same for college presidents and students all over the nation.

The pandemic’s power to alter the course of educational history as well as economic history is something playing out all around us during this fall of our discontent.

Whether you believe in the dangers of the virus or not, the stark reality is that everything having to do with education right now across the land is in a state of extraordinary change.

The same way most of Boston’s skyscrapers are empty of employees now working at home or outside of the city has changed the future for many businesses, and the owners of the buildings, and for the owners of the mortgages on those buildings.

It is no different for cities and towns paying huge money for new schools when the schools are now, and at least until November, empty of students.

Teaching remotely is the new normal.

If you believe in science and the need for the virus to be snuffed out for the greater benefit of everyone or if you believe a virus running amuck among us is OK, one thing is certain – the schools being empty on opening day 2020 is the beginning of a new era.

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