The Hull School Committee has implemented a phased plan to bring back more students for in-person learning four days a week. While the plan has its supporters, not everybody sees it as a good idea.
“I fully support seniors and freshmen going to school four days a week,” said Hull High School student body president Nolan Tiani.
Though some worry that bringing back students four days a week could cause an uptick in coronavirus cases, Tiani thinks that “if anything, it will positively affect COVID cases by having students in a controlled environment.”
Ruby Schultz, the freshman class president, said, “It would be worth trying.” She noted that the school “would definitely have to be flexible” but, in the end, “the school could always switch back if case numbers increase or other issues occur.”
On the other hand, Ben Olivieri, the senior class president, said he likes “the idea of four days a week, but I feel as if the reality of it seems far- fetched based on prior decisions they have made.”
And Olivieri warned that “it will increase odds of having to shut it down again.”
It appears that there is not much unity on this front. Several School Committee members as well as Hull Teachers Association Co-president Brian Mullin were of the opinion that the high school should not bring freshmen and seniors back for four days a week yet. However, School Committee Chairwoman Stephanie Peters and some parents at the most recent School Committee meeting voiced support for the four-day plan.
It’s an issue with a delicate balance: If you bring back more students, you risk more COVID-19 cases. If you don’t, you risk a learning gap or the worsening of mental health issues.
The topic may be broached again at the next School Committee meeting on Feb 9.
For more information on the phased plan, visit https://www.hullpublicschools.org/district/school-committee/news/phased-plan-increase-person-instruction.
Victoria Dolan is school correspondent for The Hull Times.