Melrose Teachers Reveal Health, Safety Benchmarks For Return

MELROSE, MA — The union representing Melrose teachers said they want a two-week span of

MELROSE, MA — The union representing Melrose teachers said they want a two-week span of statewide positive test rates under 2 percent, no increase in COVID-19 cases in the city for two weeks and 48-hour test results, among other things, before returning to in-class instruction.

The Melrose Education Association said it is working with the Massachusetts Teachers Association on more specific benchmarks, and the following could change. As it stands, the requests are:

  • For educators and staff to return and remain in person, the positive test rate in Massachusetts should be no more than 2% over a 14-day period.

  • The City will have no increases in positive cases for fourteen (14) days before shifting from a full remote to a hybrid model.

  • Test results from labs must be happening within 48 hours in order for real time contact tracing and containment to occur.

  • Rate of transmission (RT) should be below one (1) in Massachusetts and the counties the District serves.

The MEA would expect the district to revert to fully remote learning if the benchmarks are not maintained. That could mean any increase in local COVID-19 cases or a statewide positive test rate over 2 percent could put the district back online-only.

The MEA also had a number of requests involving indoor air quality, building-based cleaning and personal protective equipment and 14-day quarantines for all close contacts of someone diagnosed with COVID-19. See the full letter below.

The letter has been shared with the district as the two sides negotiate how educators can safely return to school, opening the doors for students to follow.

The School Committee earlier this week voted to delay the start of most in-person learning at least a month, in large part due to the concern that many teachers wouldn’t be willing to return by mid-September.

“The MEA would like to thank the Melrose School Committee for hearing our concerns,” the union said in a statement provided to Patch Thursday. “Now, we can focus our efforts on creating a distance learning model that will engage all students. Additionally, the remote start affords the district more time to make buildings safe for everyone.”

Health and Safety Benchmarks for Returning to School In-Person

This article originally appeared on the Melrose Patch

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