The HFT, in collaboration with Kamora’s Cultural Corner, hosted a community conversation on the reopening of schools. About 20 people representing parents, teachers and community members joined the zoom meeting which was also broadcast over FaceBooklive. A lively discussion centered on the reopening plans for Hartford Schools and the complexities of implementing this safely and equitably. Passions, problems, and possibilities exchanged freely and openly.
The three (HPS) learning models (in person, distance, and hybrid) were described with reference to the district documents and health and safety protocols. Staff and student surveys were briefly described to explain how families selected learning models with a heavy emphasis on Kamora and other community members asking teachers what they were being told in their buildings and how their first day back in the school building looked. Another large focus of the conversation included discussions of the HVAC systems, how air flows through the buildings to describe potential transmission, filters being used in each school, sanitizing procedures that buildings independently have, and practices of other district’s procedures for sanitizing. There were also conversations about a lack of homogenized protocol for school buildings in regards to the standard operating procedures, using the school buses, mask breaks, other districts aggressive pushback on their superintendent for the health and safety of all people, and action steps that community members can take to find out more information as well as advocate for a safe and healthy start to the new school year.
It was a spirited, candid, and impassioned discussion with stakeholders across the community. The HFT is grateful to Kamora’s Cultural Corner, and everyone who participated in this important community conversation.