Teachers share thoughts on two-week school cancellation

PHOEBE KALLAHER/SAGAMORE STAFF

Teachers traveled through 115 Greenough on Friday, March 13, walking belongings to their cars in the drizzling rain and preparing for the next steps away from the high school, not knowing when they will enter the building next.

Brookline Public Schools will be closed through March 27 as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. While teachers have concerns, they said that staying healthy during this time is the primary concern.

Social studies teacher Noah Grondlund-Jacob said that he was a bit disappointed at the lack of planning and notice that was given to teachers.

“Part of that comes back to the original planning of it,” Grondlund-Jacob said. “If teachers were told, ‘Hey here are some possibilities, plan for one of these,’ maybe we could have set something up, but for me, I don’t think I could effectively assign any work or expect anyone to complete it.”

Librarian Bridget Knightly also wished there had been a faster response.

“I wish we were more proactive instead of reactionary. That’s my biggest disappointment in the school system,” Knightly said.

However, despite the difficulties that have arisen, Grondlund-Jacob said that he believes that there will not be a problem with completing the curriculum. According to him, there is a lot of time spent on discussions and projects to keep the course interesting, but if that were cut out, the material would be finished more quickly.

“If we were to read from the textbook we could get through all of the information in the time we have,” Grondlund-Jacob said. “Unfortunately, I think it means we have to cut down on some of our more interesting research-based projects, but we’ll figure it out.”

PHOEBE KALLAHER/SAGAMORE STAFF
A Brookline High School teacher takes his things from the building. Teachers were allowed to come in until 2 p.m. to meet with other teachers and pick up any necessary materials.

 

Regardless of these inconveniences, the main concern among staff is keeping the Brookline community healthy and staying strong.

Social studies teacher Roger Grande said that he worries about the community keeping up with routines despite not having school.

“I’m concerned about friends and family members and students maintaining resilience. I’ve told my students that I want them to do their best to continue with routines,” Grande said. “For people who don’t do that, my concern is that people become morose.”

World Languages Curriculum Coordinator Agnès Albérola agreed with her colleagues about prioritizing health before curriculum.

“The main thing I would say is to stay healthy, wash your hands and don’t stress about school too much because at the end of the day what’s most important is that everyone’s healthy,” Albérola said.

Among other concerns, school psychiatrist Christen Fanelli shared her hopes for the community coming together during this time and said that she believes Brookline will be able to get through this.

“I’m sure there are ways that we’re going to be able to figure it out,” Fanelli said. “I’m sure we can rely on each other and I’m hoping the community will come together in that way and support each other, especially the ones who can’t get access to what they need.”

 

Read live updates on the COVID-19 crisis in Brookline here.