Remarks by Milton Education Association President Renee Stieve
Milton Education Association President Renee Stieve, school district resident, parent of two school-age children and a teacher going into her 15th year of teaching in the Milton School District, shared the following remarks at Monday’s school board meeting:
As you all know, our country is going through unprecedented times. Educators, like many parents, administrators, and community members, have many mixed emotions going into the 2020–21 school year. We want to be back in the classroom with our students, we want to go back to normal, but we also want to be safe. We want our students, our families, and our community to remain safe; one life lost would be one life too many.
This school year will be like none other experienced in our lifetime. The plan in front of you has taken many of the safety recommendations from local, state, and federal health organizations into account, but it still leaves a variety of questions and details to be worked out. In a time when emotions are charged, it’s important that we let our decisions be dictated by science and fact. I believe that the vision, goals, and details for the coming school year need to be clearly laid out so that everyone in Milton can be unified in our effort to create a safe learning environment for our students.
I’m happy to hear that if in-person instruction occurs, the district is making the commitment to keep cohorts to under 15 students. (Editor’s note: Director of Curriculum and Instruction Ryan Ruggles said later the number of students depends on the square footage available for instruction.)
But there are still many questions and concerns regarding sick days, classroom expectations, and overall instruction.
Teachers want to support the decisions made but we also must feel safe and supported by our school board, administrators, and community.
Providing high-quality education and support for our students is of the utmost importance to Milton teachers. We will be best equipped to do so if we have a seat at the table and are given the tools to support the growth of our students while keeping everyone in our community safe.
We believe that a hybrid plan will best balance the health and safety needs of our students and staff, while providing a high quality, comprehensive education