FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2020
BOSTON, MA – The Boston Teachers Union has released a draft proposal for the safe restart of Boston Public Schools. The proposal, titled “Creating the Schools Our Students Deserve: Aspirations, Proposals, and Priorities of the Boston Teachers Union for a Safe Restart,” outlines the union’s suggestions to reopening Boston Public Schools this fall.
“We are calling on BPS to plan for a fully remote opening to begin the school year and a phased-in return to any in-person learning only when all safety protocols are in place and verified,” said BTU President Jessica Tang.
The union joins American Federation of Teachers – Massachusetts and Massachusetts Teachers Association members across the state in saying that educators oppose returning to unsafe school buildings until districts and the state can meet these necessary criteria to protect students:
- Community transmission of COVID-19 is under control in the region;
- There is a public health infrastructure to support effective disease testing, surveillance, tracing and isolation in schools;
- All staff who are at high risk or live with someone who is high risk have access to remote work assignments, and that in-person teaching is a voluntary choice;
- The district and school have funded safeguards and implemented protocols, including the below essential components:
- 6-foot physical distancing;
- Face covering provided by schools to all students and staff, from pre-K up;
- Adequate personal protective equipment provided to staff;
- Access to hand-washing facilities with consistent 100ºF water and soap;
- Resources and staffing to clean and sanitize facilities, including transportation;
- Necessary updates to ventilation and building systems to ensure safe levels of airflow;
- Adequate space for nurses to isolate potentially infected students;
- All BTU members should be held harmless with respect to pay and sick time if diagnosed or asked to quarantined.
- BTU members and leaders, families and community partners are included in the reopening planning process
About the Boston Teachers Union
The Boston Teachers Union proudly represents more than 10,000 teachers and other professionals including school nurses, psychologists, guidance counselors, paraprofessionals, and substitute teachers. Together, we advocate for the interests of students, parents and education professionals throughout Boston. We support investment in public education to ensure a stronger future for our students and our city. As a union of educators, we are part of a movement that seeks to improve the quality of life for all working people. We are united against all forms of prejudice and bigotry that would seek to devalue the lives or liberties of our students, families or colleagues.