Some Educators Worried in The Last Days of School Before March 16 Closure

By Keiko Hiromi

Charlestown High School was one of hundreds of Boston Public Schools (BPS) that closed on March 16 for a prolonged period that could last into April.

This week, as students reported to school on Monday, some educators were concerned about the supplies they needed, but didn’t have.

Charlestown High teacher Alicia Mooltrey said the last few days of school were very intense as teachers and staff didn’t feel they had the necessary sanitizing products for their classrooms, and there weren’t any in the stores to buy as well. She said it was a concern for the kids and for the safety of teachers.

On March 16, it was a last day for the students to collect items they needed for the unexpected break.  As students filed into the school and then left later that day for the last time in a while, teacher Alicia Mooltrey said she was worried about how things ended.

“Last week, teachers were stressed because the district had not delivered any hand sanitizer, or disinfectant wipes to our school, and trying to find those supplies in stores was a challenge,” she said. 

Panic-buying left many shelves empty of hygiene/cleaning products at stores throughout the United States and Greater Boston, and caused shortages of such protective kits for Coronavirus.

Fearing for not only the health of her students, but also herself, she had been scrambling to provide hygiene products for her classroom. 

“Thankfully we (teachers) all shared what we had with each other to make things work,” she said.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced BPS was closing Friday night, March 13.  Not many of her students came to school on Monday, March 16, Mooltrey said. 

“I wish we would’ve known last week that there wouldn’t be school, so that we could have had more time to plan, but we are doing our best to keep students engaged by putting work on Google classroom and passing out Chromebooks for students who need them.”

By press time this week, that effort to get online for the thousands of BPS students was still underway.

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