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EAST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – A group of East Haven parents are speaking out against the school district’s plan for this year.

The parents say the district hasn’t listened to their concerns about in-person or distance learning.

Those parents protested outside a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday was the first day of school for East Haven students. Some parents said that schools were not ready to welcome their students back safely and that remote learners were left to fend for themselves.

“At East Haven High School today, they didn’t have shields, they didn’t have desk shields. The kids are not six feet apart,” said Laura Ferraiolo.

Photos sent to Channel 3 by several parents show students sitting close together with no desk shields. These are the conditions the group of parents say they’re protesting.

“It hasn’t been what they told us it would be as far as safety in the schools,” Ferraiolo said.

Laura Ferraiolo is part of a growing group of East Haven parents who say they weren’t satisfied with the district’s plan for full in-person learning, but they say the first day of classes amplified their concerns.

“They’re not getting electives, they’re not getting honor classes. Especially in the lower grades, like my son, he’s not allowed to take Spanish this year,” Ferraiolo said.

Ferraiolo says in addition to limited classes and screen time with the teacher, her son’s schedule changed throughout the day.

Shannon Criscuolo says her daughter faced similar challenges while remote learning on the first day.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be adequate. It seems like what we dealt with six months ago, kind of just something that’s slopped together, we’ll figure it out,” Criscuolo said.

The group is calling for safer conditions for students who are learning in-person and the same opportunities for students who are learning online.

During Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Murrihy asked parents to be patient as they work out online glitches and introductions.

“I would ask for families to continue to sort of allow us to ease into the school year, build those connections with students, and then our students will be able to ease into the meat and the depth of the course,” Murrihy said.

As for in-person learning, Superintendent Erica Forti says administration will be making changes everyday based on health and safety, but before that happens, parents say they want them to listen.

“Our children deserve more, way more than what they’re getting,” Criscuolo said.

The parents say they don’t know what their next steps will be if the district doesn’t listen to them, but at this point, they do have legal representation.


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