Send Abington Students Back to School!
Send Abington Students Back to School!
One year ago there were many unknowns about COVID-19. With lack of testing and a general uncertainty surrounding all aspects of the virus, the closure of Abington School District, along with many other institutions and businesses in 2020 was understandable and necessary to keep our community safe.
One year later, not only is testing readily available, vaccinations are also available and being administered to our most vulnerable citizens. The medical community has been able to use data gathered over the past year to more effectively treat COVID-19 and to inform citizens how to control the spread in our own lives.
It is time for Abington School District to move forward. In fact, it is long overdue. Instead of focusing on the unknown and “what if”, we beg you to focus on what we do know:
- The PA Governors office has stated elementary students should return to as much in-person learning as possible by 1/25/21. (Over a month ago)
- 6’ distancing is not required in schools by the PA DOH, DOE, or the Montco Office of Public Health.
- The CDC states that schools can be more fully open with adequate safety measures in place.
- COVID-19 incidence and death rates are dropping steadily in both Montco, Abington Twp and Rockledge Borough.
- Experts studying nationwide data have concluded that transmission rates in schools are extremely low to nonexistent.
- CHOP Policy Lab has stated children are SAFER in schools with mitigation efforts in place.
- Guidance from WHO, AAP, and Harvard School of Public Health allows for 3’ distancing with multi-layered safety plans in place.
- Neighboring districts, as well as private and parochial schools are open for full in-person instruction with 3-6’ distancing in place, with great success and no evidence of in school transmission of COVID-19.
We know that it is possible to return to school full time safely and above all else, we know that OUR CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER.
It is time for our elected school board to listen to the parents. Some children are thriving in this environment, but many are not. The board and Abington community at large needs to hear the parents, and they need to believe us. We are the ones dealing with this every day. We are the ones who are seeing our children fall behind academically and struggling emotionally. We are the ones seeing that the testing implemented by the district does not truly convey student progress. We do not need babysitters for our children. We need teachers for our children. We need your understanding and your support, and we need you, as elected officials, to make the right decision for our children. We are not ignoring the virus, we are not ignoring the safety of our children or our community. We are parents who want what is best for our children and our community, and we trust those who have proven time and time again that it is safe.
Hybrid is not the answer. Two days a week in person is not enough to make up for the amount of time lost over the past year. It is also very disruptive and confusing for the children. Many parents in the district would agree that the hybrid model is even worse and more detrimental than the all virtual model, for many reasons which parents can choose to elaborate on personally via email to the board, or via call-in to the board meeting. It is time to send our children back to school 5 days a week.
We are asking the board to formally add two items to vote on at the next Abington School District Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, March 9.
1. Amend the Health and Safety plan to allow for as much as 6ft distancing where possible, but as few as 3ft when 6ft can not be met.
2. Allow all students to return to the school buildings in person 5 days a week, and allow those who do not wish to return in person to continue streaming lessons virtually from home.
Please treat our children's education as a right instead of an option.