SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A petition is circulating online after South Hadley announced the make-up days for high school students after the school year was delayed due to mold issues. Western Mass News is digging deeper into what the petition is calling for and how the school district is responding.
“Saturdays is a big day for sports activities, um so how do you do it? Do you take that away from them?” said James Chase of South Hadley.
There’s a less than ideal situation looming over the town of South Hadley. The school district announced in a letter on Monday a make-up schedule for the high school after unforeseen mold issues delayed the start of the year.
“Nothing is easy with this. It's a very unfortunate situation,” said South Hadley Public Schools Supt. Jahmal Mosley.
Western Mass News is getting answers on how the district came up with the plan with Mosley.
“Ideally, it would have been nice to be able to have all these days remote, but we couldn't,” Mosley explained.
The district was only granted seven remote learning days from the state for mold removal. Now, classes will be made up on four Saturdays split between November and December and the elimination of February vacation. It’s something parents weren't necessarily expecting.
“I was surprised they were throwing weekend days in there,” said Aaron Lerch of South Hadley.
Now, a new petition is calling for the removal of the four Saturday make-up days. Mosley said that they legally have to stick to a timeline.
“We have a schedule we have to keep in terms of 180 days,” Mosley added.
Residents like Lerch said education comes first, even if it means going to school on a weekend.
“As a parent, it's your responsibility to have your kid go to your school and do what they need to do so they have to go to school,” Lerch added.
Chase said being back in class is important to his grandkids.
“I have grandkids who want to go to school. They don't want to be home,” Chase noted.
While adding on all the days to the end of the school year was an option, Mosley said it wasn't in the district's best interest.
“We live in New England. There could be two snow days, there could be seven snow days,” Mosley said.
For staff who had prior plans, he said they can use personal days and as for students, he said they'll try to be flexible with any legitimate conflictions.
“I'm not saying no. Have that discussion with your teachers, have that discussion with your administrators. We'll come to a win-win,” Mosley added.
As of Tuesday night, the petition had 460 signatures. Mosley urged parents to contact the district, instead of turning to social media to express any frustrations.