Teachers at Innovation Academy Charter School are preparing for students to return for five days a week starting April 26th.
As plans for school attendance everywhere have changed rapidly throughout the year to accommodate the COVID-19 crisis, it has been hard for teachers to keep up. When it comes to the reopening, planning has not been any easier. Chemistry teacher Raks Derival commented, “I don’t have it all figured out yet.”
Derival is looking to work with not only teaching assistants but her own students to formulate a plan for the class. “I’m going to tap into all the assets I can,” she said.
“One of our original requests to the school was to not have us come in until teachers were vaccinated, but that was not a request they were able to help us with.”Raks Derival, Chemistry Teacher
In addition to reorganizing their classes to accommodate full attendance, teachers have been seeking out vaccination sites. Derival explained that “one of our original requests to the school was to not have us come in until teachers were vaccinated, but that was not a request they were able to help us with.”
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is calling for middle schools to reopen for full in-person learning by April 28th, and Innovation responded by deciding to open both the middle school and high school. This fast-track makes obtaining vaccines difficult for teachers. Derival said that “the energy shifted from ‘Hey, help us get vaccinations if you want us to go in person,’ to this mad dash of trying to set up an appointment,” with teachers staying up past midnight to try and book appointments.
The return to school in less than two weeks will be a difficult transition for all teachers whether they are returning with students or continuing to teach remotely for medical reasons.