WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A West Springfield father has started a petition to bring full in-person learning back to his local school district.
This comes as the state pressures West Springfield’s school committee to begin using a hybrid plan rather than remote learning.
West Springfield officials said the school is set to begin a hybrid model around mid-October.
The father we spoke with, Anthony Sorcinelli, said he wants a remote option to be available to parents who want it, but believes most students should be back in the classroom to learn.
“A full return with an option for full remote is what would meet the needs of most of the parents,” Sorcinelli explained.
That’s the basis of the petition started by Sorcinelli, a West Springfield father of three. His children are learning remotely through the West Springfield public schools.
“I’m concerned about the quality of this education. It seems like 90 percent of the day is finding a Zoom link or sorting through hundred different papers that were sent home,” Sorcinelli added.
Sorcinelli told Western Mass News that West Side’s health data on COVID-19 provided by the state shows full in-person learning, with a remote option, would be safe.
“The goal of the initiative is to force a special election in our town because we don’t believe that our school committee is going to do what’s right,” Sorcinelli explained.
West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt, who is on the school committee, said there are plans to bring students back in a hybrid model in October.
“We’re going with what, you know, we believe will keep kids and staff safe,” Reichelt said.
He disagreed with the petition to bring students back full-time.
“I don’t know how that even works within the state’s whole plan and the state’s, essentially the guidance they released in June. There would be no way to do a full return right now. It would just be unsafe and foolish,” Reichelt said.
According to Sorcinelli, 1,706 signatures stand between his opinion and the mayor’s.
“I’m confident that that’s not going to be an issue there are a lot of upset parents in this town,” Sorcinelli said.
Sorcinelli said he already has the support of three town councilors, including Daniel O’Brien.
O’Brien confirmed his support to Western Mass News saying, “The parents should have the option of in school or remote. They pay the bill.”