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Lewiston Public School District's proposed hybrid model not sitting well with teachers union

The union says teachers feel unprepared.

The start of the school year in Lewiston is only a few weeks away, and the district's proposed hybrid plan isn't sitting well with the Lewiston Education Association.

"There are things that are not unobtainable, but aren't in place currently," said Allison Lytton, president of the Lewiston Education Association.

The proposed plan includes a hybrid model where students would be in the building two days a week, and the rest of the week they would learn from home. Parents are also given the choice to complete remote learning.

The union wants to delay in-person teaching. It says teachers feel unprepared with enforcing social distancing and using personal protective equipment.

"We can't control the suppliers. Every school in the nation is ordering mass quantities of these items and we can't control when they come in. They're not in our hands yet," said Lytton.

But Assistant Superintendent Karen Paquette said they district does have enough PPE's. She said it started ordering equipment last spring.

"We have secured a large variety of personal protective equipment in a variety of formats," said Paquette.

Paquette said she recognizes the union's concerns, and while adjustments may need to be made to the hybrid plan, she believes it's the best option for students.

"We heard feedback from our spring survey from families, teachers and students, that the complete remote learning was not the best option. We know having in-person learning helps to build relationships for kids. It helps to build relationships between the teacher and the students. While it's not ideal, the hybrid model allows for some of that interaction," said Paquette.

Paquette said teachers will be trained for five days before schools start. The school board will be voting on this proposed plan Monday night.