Statement by Superintendent of Schools Richard J. Hughes, Ed.D.
I find it necessary to correct an inaccurate statement circulated by the leadership of our teachers’ union regarding the provision of instruction during this start of the 2020-21 school year. The union leadership has asserted that the District is expecting high school teachers to teach, at the same time, those students who are in front of them as well as those who are virtually participating in instruction.
This claim is not true. The District is not requiring its high school teachers to teach both remote and in-person students at the same exact time. Instead, the District has offered that as an option for our high school teachers, particularly those who would like to save time and avoid having to teach the same lesson twice — once in front of the class and then again virtually. The other available option for our high school teachers, of course, is to teach in-person and virtual students separately. Indeed, this option may be more attractive to some teachers who are not comfortable with teaching a mix of in-class and virtual students at the same time. And we respect that, which is why we offered both options so that each teacher at issue is able to exercise individual choice on the mode of instruction that works best for his or her personal circumstances and preferences.
I also must note that, contrary to claims by the union leadership, the District has in fact offered ample opportunities for training on blended and virtual instruction over the past many months.
The District will continue to balance the needs of its students and the interests of its teachers when determining the best approaches for the delivery of a quality educational program during these unprecedented times.