Distant children excluded from end-of-year activities in person

Screenshot / via HUDTV
Parent Beth Langlois addresses the Hudson School Committee at its May 25 meeting.

By Laura Hayes, Contributing writer

HUDSON – With the end of the school year, the Hudson Public School District is preparing for its end of year activities.

However, one parent expressed disappointment that distant students – especially distant fourth graders – were excluded from these in-person celebrations.

“I was really hoping we could have had at least one fourth-grade graduation ceremony outside to include all fourth-graders,” parent Beth Langlois said at the school committee meeting on 25 may.

In April, Langlois chose to have his children stay in the distance learning program so that they didn’t have to change teachers towards the end of the school year and return to a school they hadn’t been to since. more than a year.

“It just didn’t make sense,” she said. “It would have been too disruptive.”

She thanked Assistant Directors Rachel Scanlon and Judy Merra for their work on the remote program.

“I know they are working to make their Virtual Fun Day special, and I’m sure it will be amazing,” Langlois said. “It’s not what our kids wanted. They wanted to be there in person, but I appreciate everything they do.

According to a schedule provided to the Community Advocate by Superintendent Marco Rodrigues, in addition to the end-of-year virtual activities for all distant students, fourth-grade teachers are planning a special virtual ceremony for distant students.

Part of this ceremony will include messages from district leaders, principals and teachers, a group poem and a film reflecting the year of the students together.

Like their peers in person, distant students will also receive a t-shirt and yearbook from their home school.

“Our principals and teachers have done a great job adjusting and modifying year-end activities to comply with current COVID-19 restrictions,” Rodrigues said in an email.

He added that although Gov. Charlie Baker lifted most COVID-19 restrictions as of May 29, restrictions remain in place for schools except for the outdoor mask mandate.

School committee member Chris Yates told the meeting that the committee had received “a lot” of emails on this topic.

“I totally disagree with the decision not to include distance learning students in year-end activities,” Yates said.

He asked Rodrigues and the directors to reconsider the decision.

“I think these kids have gone through enough, especially the students who have stayed away,” Yates said.

Distance students will participate in Fly Up Day

As the discussion focused on the year-end celebrations, the topic of the fourth year “Fly Up Day” was also brought up in the conversation.

Typically, fourth graders participate in “Fly Up Day,” which allows them to take a tour of Quinn Middle School with current students.

With distant fourth-graders unable to participate in the year-end celebrations in person, Langlois expressed concern that they would be excluded from a Fly Up Day in person.

“There’s a lot to be said about the camaraderie of joining your other classmates and quite frankly feeling included,” Langlois said.

Rodrigues said the distance students will participate in the Fly Up to Quinn day as a cohort.

He said Fly Up Day would take place over a period of three days and that distant students would be heading to school one of those days.

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