Staying Open is Still the Best Option


Selma Fuseni, Arts Editor

With the recent spike in COVID 19, many are wary of Stamford Public Schools (SPS) staying open. Other school districts surrounding Stamford such as Darien, Trumbull, Waterbury and  Newtown have announced at least partial closures in recent days.  However, the question is, does Stamford Public Schools really need to go fully remote for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year?

The answer to that question is no. A large misunderstanding that people have in regard to the closure of school districts is that they were due to the number of cases accumulated, when, in reality, this was largely due to the issue of there not being enough staff present for in-person learning. In abiding by teachers’ union demands, schools are to give teachers the option to teach remotely or in school. Because of so many teachers being remote in these school districts, they’d have no choice but to go fully remote. 

But in the case of SPS, we have yet to reach that margin. Therefore, with the opportunity to stay open, more students are guaranteed to be engaged in one way or another. 

One vital reason as to why we need to stay open is for the benefit of students with physical and mental disabilities. One of the many things that schools provide in Stamford is classes and groups for those who are mentally disabled. This is not only assisting the students, it’s also assisting the parents and/guardians. Students who also utilize school-based Health Centers would also be at a disadvantage if we were to close. The health centers provide basic care and utilities such as prescribing medication and providing access to nurses and psychologists.

Another vital issue in regard to closing would be the loss of interactivity. Many students focus better in school where they have the direct help of their teachers and peers. Many teachers also benefit from the interactive aspect of school as well, in that they are allowed to keep better track of students and how they perform in class. Contact between students and teachers all in all is much more fluid and genuine in person. And as students whose’ ages range from 4-18, it’s still vital for our growth and development to have this in-person contact. 

To be completely frank, I understand that being in the midst of a global pandemic, keeping our students, staff, and faculty safe is of the utmost importance. But rather than shutting down, there are effective ways to keep students and staff of SPS in school safely. First of all, keeping our mask mandates and social distancing rules have been proven effective at slowing transmission nationwide. Our hybrid plan of splitting student bodies and alternating days has also prevented widespread outbreaks. And if it is the case that cases begin getting too high, rather than shutting down for good, we’d shut down for 2-3 weeks (on par with teachers’ union demands) to weed out the positive cases and get back to school safely and ready to learn more efficiently.

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