Sisters and Brothers,
Last night, the Haverhill School Committee – without public comment – reversed everything it decided only 6 days ago and, despite increasing infection rates in our community, voted to bring all k-5 students and educators back to full hybrid during what will inevitably be a post-New Year’s Eve infectious period of this “second surge” on January 4th.
On Monday, the Action Team regrouped in response to the news that Cohort C would continue until and return immediately after the upcoming holiday recess. At the start of the meeting, co-chairs Barry Davis and Nicole Sanchez both resigned from their positions to make way for new rank-and-file leadership. On behalf of the Executive Committee and all HEA members, I want to thank them both for their service to our cause over these past few months. Of course, they’ll continue to serve as active HEA members as Barry was recently elected Membership Chair and Nicole currently serves as a building representative and a member of our Joint Labor Management Committee.
The members then elected new co-chairs, Ben Flagg from TEACH and Natalie Campisano from Pentucket Lake Elementary. Both have been vocal advocates for their colleagues and students in the sub-separate programs where they work whose nominations were confirmed unanimously by the group. They began to implement the organizing and outreach strategy the team had settled on. However, to quote Mayor Fiorentini who proposed the latest change in policy, “when you change the story, you change the ending”, Ben and Natalie immediately got together after yesterday’s School Committee meeting to determine the impact of their decision. They decided to call the Action Team back for an emergency meeting with the following message:
As you all may or may not have seen at tonight’s School Committee meeting, the decision was made to change the return date of K-5 students from January 14th to January 4th.
What does this mean?
- This increases risk for all staff working within these cohorts
- This ignores the safety protocols that the CDC and DESE has put into place
- This ignores the RISING data for the city we work in
As a result of this careless act that now involves MORE students and staff, we are asking that you join us for an emergency meeting at 5:30 tomorrow Wednesday, December 16th.
Thank you all!
Ben and Natalie
Action Team Co-Chairs
To join the Action Team and help plan our path forward, please reply to this email and you will be added to the Action Team contact list. The link to the Zoom meeting will be sent by 5:00pm.
Anthony J. Parolisi
Haverhill Education Association