Greenfield schools ready to reopen to high-risk learners

  • Greenfield School Committee Chair Amy Proietti STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 11/19/2020 4:36:12 PM
Modified: 11/19/2020 4:36:01 PM

GREENFIELD — Even as the number of new cases of COVID-19 rise, Greenfield schools are ready to reopen for Phase 2, but don’t want to rush, so are waiting to see what will happen next with the pandemic, according to the School Committee’s chair.

Amy Proietti told city councilors this week that the school district plans to welcome back a limited number of high-risk students, including those with special education plans and those who speak English as a second language, to in-person learning, but a date has not yet been set.

“All of our buildings are ready,” Proietti said. “Central Maintenance has been working with our engineering contractors on all of the HVAC systems in each building. All of that is completed. Central Maintenance has kept the systems up, so there were minimal fixes that needed to be done to make sure air quality is good.”

City Council President Ashli Stempel-Rae commended the School Committee and district, saying she understands that the city will never please everyone with what they think education should look like right now.

“We can’t afford to go back to full-time in-person learning,” Proietti said. “We don’t even know what we’ll receive from the state in Chapter 70 funding this year. It’s not this year that’s of most concern, though, but Fiscal Year ’22 and Fiscal Year ’23.”

Proietti said the long-term outlook for Greenfield schools is “bleak.” She said transportation, special education and what the city can provide schools are going to be the big questions as the school district moves forward through its phases.

“There isn’t enough space in our buildings right now for all students to return safely,” she said. “Not if we’re going to limit capacities to keep them safe.”

Proietti said the School Committee will continue to meet every two weeks, and will announce when it will move to Phase 2 of its reopening.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.


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