SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--Parents in South Hadley shared their frustrations as significant mold problems continue to delay the start of the school year for high school students.
Parents and community members now have over 200 signatures on a petition started Monday to propose a solution and get kids back to learning.
“It’s really kind of a slap in the face that they’re saying it’s not structured learning after it was completely fine for our kids to receive remote learning for over a year,” said Nicole Laramee, a South Hadley High School Parent.
Laramee is the parent of a senior at South Hadley High School, who just wanted to be back in the classroom for his final year.
“He was looking forward to a much more normal senior year before he graduates,” said Laramee.
Laramee is one of over 200 people who signed a petition started on Monday by Lily Newman, an educator and South Hadley resident. It’s addressed to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and reads in part, quote…
“In education circles, we’ve said all year that we had better take to heart the lessons from COVID. If there’s ever a time to build on what we’ve learned and leverage it for good, this is it. South Hadley High School needs approval of remote learning as structured time on learning to get our students back to school.”
South Hadley superintendent Jahmal Mosley submitted a waiver on Monday to DESE requesting special permission for high school students to begin the school year remote.
Ira Brezinky, former school board member and parent of four, thinks it’s the best way to resolve the issue.
“It’s the most affordable, it makes the most sense, and it can get our students back in the classroom in less than 24 hours,” said Brezinsky.
Western Mass News learned the estimated cost to remove the mold is over $760 thousand.
“Those are some scary numbers,” said Laramee.
Despite the difficult and challenging situation, Laramee said it helped bring parents, teachers, and all of South Hadley closer together to find a solution.
“I think everyone stands united that we just want what’s best for their kids,” said Lramee.
It's been almost two weeks and there’s still no date for when high school students will start classes. Western Mass News will continue to bring you the latest updates.