Guidelines for return to school, the alarm of the principals: “Impossible distancing in the chicken coop classes. 40% of classrooms are unsuitable and teachers are missing”


Everyone was waiting for them, but now that they have arrived (although not yet official) they are all disappointed. The guidelines written by the Minister of Education Lucia Azzolina, for the restart of the school year, I am a bitter morsel for school leaders. The president of the national principals association calls them “generic”.

Meanwhile, the school heads in these hours are dealing with the incongruity between the chicken coop classes and the distancing which must be insured: even this year, in fact, the first classes must have at least 27 pupils and in the transition from the first to the second two years if a section has less than 22 guys it must be dismembered.

All without having a single extra teacher. Numbers that do not help principals to hunt for spaces. The guidelines speak of the use of cinemas, theaters, libraries, but in a city there is not a single institution that needs alternative places to school.

“They gave the hot potato to us principals. In the document – he explains Giannelli – there is a lot of talk about school autonomy but all this is not accompanied by resources and we leaders have more and more hands tied. It is said to locate new spaces but do you imagine the manager who goes around the city to beg for new classrooms? The guidelines are nice ideas that we can also share but we needed tools ”.

Speaking of shifts, the president also reminds that the minister had excluded them and defines “community agreements” only “beautiful words that cannot be concretized”. On the other hand, thePNA just launched an SOS in these hours: “Il 40% of classrooms in Italy cannot guarantee the distance “. This is what emerges from a sample survey made by the union organization.

And on the chicken coop classes Giannelli is very pragmatic: “I can also have 27 pupils, but I need the square meters needed to comply with hygiene rules. Someone is thinking of using gyms for lessons, but they must be used for physical education. And whoever thinks of putting the desks in the corridors will have to deal with the safety rules “.

To reject the document of Azzolina is also Ludovico Arte, principal of the “Marco Polo” of Florence: “The distance of one meter is not practicable in reality. The staggered timetable proposed in the guidelines does not deal with the problem of public transport. If we finish school at 15 assuming later entries we will have to guarantee the canteen “. Arte, on the other hand, has another proposal: “It restarts in a normal way by doing serological tests at all”. And on chicken coop classes he adds: “In my school I also have classes of 30 pupils. From here to September these situations cannot be abolished, but serious reflection must be made. It is time to think of more staff and a recovery with all the staff in the classroom from September 1st “.

They did not speak, but it seems that Ludovico Arte and are known Roberta Mozzi, manager of the “Torriani” of Cremona: “In my institution the80% of the boys is commuter. If we talk about staggered arrivals to school we have to agree with the transport companies. At this point, a coordination table with local authorities is needed as soon as possible. In front of the classes we have, with numbers reaching 30 students, mixed teaching is the only solution to ensure distance. However, I will have space problems: I can’t use the gym because I have a sports high school and I can’t think of using the workshops because it’s cold. So how can you think of doing outdoor lessons in Cremona in November? “. And on the chicken coop classes, the principal says: “This was an opportunity to review the legislation and increase the workforce but it has not been done”.

More cautious Salvatore Angius, head of the “Pitagora” high school in Solargius: “The indications that come to us have changed several times. I wait to see the official ones. We will probably have to resume distance learning at least in the three years “. And on this point Angius dwells: “We will have to train the teachers”. Meanwhile, the principal of the Sardinian high school has equipped himself for the spaces: “I will have to move the teachers’ room out, and then if it is necessary to equip the lecture hall by transforming it into classes”.

Comprehensive institutions such as the one directed by Daniela Turci to San Lazzaro di Savena: “If the distance in class remains one meter, I will be able to have 16-17 students per classroom. And where do I put the rest since I have 25 children’s sections? At first they thought they could also use the canteen as a classroom but then they told us that it must be maintained. I don’t know how we’ll do it. In our city there are two comprehensive schools and two high schools and all need spaces. ”

To say his about the chicken coop classes is also a student from Bagheria, Andrea Arnone who wrote an open letter: “I am a student of the” D’Alessandro “scientific high school in Bagheria. I attend the current second H and I am fifteen. Exactly two weeks ago, on the last day of school with Dad, I discovered, together with my class, that the third H would not have formed and that both we and the current second I would have been sorted into the remaining thirds of the ‘Institute, by September ”. Words that follow some provocative questions: “I asked myself many questions about the reason for this hasty choice; first of all, how would it be possible to sort thirty-five boys into seven other sections, reaching an average of twenty-four students per class in a period of social distancing? Would it not be more appropriate to create smaller class groups? Why do you continue undaunted with this choice despite the awareness that the creation of “chicken coop classes” will completely hamper anti-Covid regulations which should be adopted in September in school facilities? “.

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