Derry, NH – At last night’s “Roadmap to Reopening Schools” meeting, candidate for State Representative Erica Layon, with baby in hand, waited for 3 hours during technical difficulties with livestreaming to speak in favor of cooperation and community between home schooling families and the public schools.

“I was pleased with the response I received,” stated Mrs. Layon, who received enthusiastic applause after her comments and many positive remarks in the livestream home-viewing audience.

“In these unprecedented times, I believe it is important to play to the varied skills, capabilities and needs of our community. If the Derry Cooperative School District can cooperate gracefully with families who choose to home educate during the uncertainty surrounding Covid I believe it will be helpful to all students.  It will help open up classroom space for socially-distanced in person classrooms for those students who need or desire to attend school at school. It will allow lower student/teacher ratios for remote learning through the district. And it will allow students who are home educated to experience a broader variety of learning opportunities that are not optimized for the realities of large in-person classes.

“While neighboring towns are severing social ties with students choosing to home educate for a year, I hope that Derry will still socially consider these students their classmates. Our town pulled together beautifully to honor the achievements and sacrifices of students, teachers, parents and staff in the spring of 2020. I hope that this camaraderie will continue, and that Equal Access to curricular and co-curricular activities as defined in RSA 193:1-c continues throughout this disruption. I am delighted to hear that NHIAA is working towards a reopening plan for fall sports, as school sports are an important community tradition. 

“I truly believe that by working outside of the box, and outside of the classroom when necessary, we can find the solutions that honor differing risk assessments about Covid as well as providing an appropriate education to our students. Further, in our changing economy I believe that this adaptive response will prepare our community to better compete in the increasingly global marketplace and decentralization of opportunity that comes with remote work. These are scary and exciting times that may catapult us into a better future.”

Mrs. Layon is a co-founder and board member of Granite State Home Educators, a group which has helped lead the charge to support families finding their footing in our new era of crisis schooling.

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