Kim Nedeau: A letter of support for schools

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A letter to the Amherst Regional School Committee, Superintendent Mike Morris, the Amherst-Pelham Education Association (APEA) and Amherst community,

I support the School Committee’s motion to start in-person learning.

I support our superintendent, Mike Morris, implementing an in-person learning plan as difficult as the logistics may be.

I support our teachers who continue to teach remotely.

I support our teachers who volunteer to be in-person despite the union’s warning of loss of protection.

I support our students who cannot access remote learning and I will not stop being their advocate.

I support our students who have lost their love for learning.

I support prioritizing our youth who are suffering for the first time this school year. It’s time to offer those students essential services, food security, and social and psychological well-being.

I support and applaud students, parents and guardians who have handled extended remote learning with relative ease, yet I still ask these parents to join the conversation. Be an advocate for students who are suffering. We all need to speak up and help protect our vulnerable students, even if you don’t have one in your family. The school district you have come to love will not look the same next year if we don’t address the current distress of so many families.

I support our beloved teachers and staff and wonder who will protect them when pink slips are handed out prior to our next school year because of a slashed budget?

I support an educational system that is creative and collaborative, prioritizes mental health, and realizes that we do not have a single day to waste.

I support following science-driven decision-making, listening to our professionals in pediatrics and their data that school children do not stoke transmission.

I support the Amherst Regional School District but will not continue to enroll my children under the current model.

I support the “trust building” meetings occurring on a weekly basis but recognize we need to act more quickly than what these meetings allow.

I support transparency. What questions were asked of teachers and staff in the December survey about revisiting the MOA? What is considered a mandate that WOULD open up the possibility for negotiations?

I support the return to full in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year but have NO reason to believe the APEA will align with this goal, hence many families are making plans for schooling outside of the district, including my own.

Kim Nedeau is a parent who lives in Leverett.