FALMOUTH  — Parents of students and Falmouth teachers continue to disagree about the best way to continue learning during the pandemic since students

Falmouth School Superintendent Geoff Bruno.

returned to classes Sept. 8 for a combination of remote and in-person learning.

Leading up to the start of the school year, Falmouth teachers voiced their concerns about the hybrid model.

Chris Driscoll, a seventh grade math teacher and vice president of the Falmouth Education Association, referenced a survey taken by the teacher’s association, saying that “fewer than a third (of teachers) said they were comfortable” going back to school under the hybrid mode due to the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Jim Chaousis, who has three daughters in the Falmouth school system, said: “I don’t think the hybrid model is comparable to full-time, in-person education. I don’t see the children being challenged. If we don’t plan on educating our children at a Falmouth-level this year – one that we’ve agreed to for many years and funded at multi-millions of dollars – that’s very concerning.”  

Falmouth’s fiscal year 2020-2021 budget is over $40 million and increased by $1.5 million over last year.

Chaousis, who started the Concerned Citizens for the Education of Youth group, which has brought in over 100 members, said his group wants Falmouth schools to progress toward allowing students to come back to school full time.

Wanting to send our children back to school isn’t an anti-teacher sentiment, it’s a pro-teacher sentiment. The value of our teachers has never been higher,” Chaousis said.

However, Lindsay Wissink, a registered nurse at Falmouth Elementary school, read a letter from Falmouth Health Services at the meeting that urged Falmouth to stay with the hybrid model.

“Keeping safe physical distance with double the amount of students in a classroom would be unattainable. Fighting the virus involves sacrifices from all of us, but the sacrifice should not be placing our staff and students in a high-risk environment,” Wissink said.

Lila Finlay, a junior at Falmouth High School, agreed, saying: “The yellow hybrid schedule has been working very well for the high school. People are becoming more accustomed to it and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on it. Many of my peers would rather go to school safely two days a week than risk trying to go five days just to have us go virtual.”

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