Delay In-Person Instruction for the Amityville School District

Delay In-Person Instruction for the Amityville School District

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Amityville Teachers Association started this petition to Amityville School District Board of Education

Dear Members of the Amityville Board of Education,

The Amityville Teachers Association and CSEA Bargaining Unit and Buildings and Grounds are requesting that in-person instruction be delayed until September 14th.

When COVID-19 caused universal closures of schools back in March, it was devastating to teachers, staff, students and their families. The lack of in-person instruction to support our students was difficult and not being able to say goodbye was heartbreaking. We are all excited to get back to doing what we love most, educating our students, providing emotional support and serving as mentors and role models. We are all in agreement that it is essential to get students back to school, if they can return to a safe environment. We acknowledge that the district has been working very hard to make this happen. Construction crews are trying to  have the buildings across the district ready. Custodians, the ones counted on the most to ensure a clean, safe and healthy environment, have been doing everything they can to have facilities ready for students and staff. Teachers, many of whom are moving to new locations and teaching different grades and/or courses, are doing everything in their power to prepare for a school year with so many uncertainties. We are all in this together as we strive towards a common goal, bringing everyone back so that we can provide the best and safest educational experience possible for our students.

With that being said, the teachers and custodians of the Amityville School District are united in asking the Board of Education to delay the start of in-person instruction until Monday September 14th. Many districts across New York State, including New York City schools, have already delayed in-person instruction so that safety measures can be securely in place, classrooms can be set up and teachers and support staff can receive adequate training for synchronous learning and safety protocols and have time to prepare to teach in this new reality that we all find ourselves in.

The Amityville School District has the same issues many districts around the state have. However our concerns are compounded by the fact that there has been a realignment of teachers throughout the district, an entirely new system of teaching and structuring the school day has been implemented on the secondary level in the form of block scheduling, our schools are still completing construction projects and North Amityville was a hot spot for COVID-19.

Central administration may believe the buildings will be ready for a September 10th start, but our teachers and custodians, the lifeblood of any school district, strongly feel that this does not provide adequate time to have the building set up the way teachers, staff and students deserve. Our request to delay in-person instruction two days until September 14th, is significantly less than many other districts and would go a long way in assuaging the fears and uncertainty that our school community is feeling. It will also afford teachers, custodians, support staff and construction workers the time and flexibility to ensure a positive start to this school year for our most important commodity, our students.

We know that delaying in-person instruction until September 14th is a difficult decision to make. However we believe that given the current situation we are in, it is the right decision to make. We appreciate you taking the time to read this letter and we hope you give serious consideration to our request.

Sincerely,

The Amityville Teachers Association & CSEA and Buildings and Grounds Bargaining Unit

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