Ankeny Community Schools Board of Directors vote NO to Hybrid plan: Consider FT Option

Petition Closed

Ankeny Community Schools Board of Directors vote NO to Hybrid plan: Consider FT Option

This petition had 1,820 supporters

Ankeny Guardians for Schools started this petition to Ankeny Community School District Board of Education

Petition for the Ankeny Community School District (ACSD) Board of Directors to vote NO on July 27 to a hybrid return-to-learn model, where students will receive 50% of instruction over the course of a two-week period (every-other-day model). We are requesting that a new full-time plan option be drafted and shared that parents/guardians could elect if they so choose. NO data or information has been shared as to why ACSD administration is making this recommendation for a hybrid plan.

Parents/guardians should have the option to elect a full-time in-person return-to-learn model. ACSD is giving parents/guardians an option to let their students learn remotely, but they are NOT giving the option to let them learn full-time in the classroom.

In fact, ACSD has NOT asked parents/guardians in any surveys as of July 22 what our preference for going back to school is, nor have they ever shared any of that data with ACSD parents/guardians on what input has been shared from surveys thus far.

  • Many kids and parents struggled with distance learning this spring. This is particularly true for elementary school-age children.
  • Younger kids cannot readily absorb new information simply by spending hours in front of a computer screen or going through a packet of materials.
  • Consequently, a lot of the job of teaching fell on the parents—and most working parents do not have time to homeschool their kids. Forced homeschooling does not work for working parents.

In addition, there is no reason to think that having kids home on some days but not others will do anything to slow the spread of the virus. Indeed, because families are likely to be involved in more and different settings under an every-other-day plan, their contacts with families and staff will be greater and more varied. For example, going to multiple classes, including school, after-school programs, and day care, any proposed every-other-day school plan might reasonably be expected to increase the spread of the virus.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families.

Join Ankeny parents and guardians who want to send their kids back to school full-time in August:

  • Online learning doesn’t work for every student. Our kids should get to be in the classroom if that is what their parent/guardian feels is best for them.
  • Research has proven that kids are far less likely to catch and spread the virus.
  • Parents need to work and support their families.
  • Daycare availability is becoming more and more limited (and sometimes more expensive) in our community for all families. Also note: many families have not budgeted for daycare expenses and simply cannot afford for day-to-day care.
  • Low income families will be disproportionately affected by this and could continue to fall behind.
  • Students need to close the gap from learning lost in the spring semester; and support social, emotional, and mental needs of students.
  • Equitable success and opportunity for all students.
  • Disadvantages, especially in elementary schools, can easily compound over time.
  • Safety and mitigation efforts can still be made while allowing children to return to school full time, as seen by other districts in our communities and across the country

Many families choose to pay higher property taxes in order to send their children to this wonderful school district where education is provided in the classroom.

This is an evolving and unprecedented time, and our kids are going to need more stability and routines now more than ever before. Schools play an essential function in society, and we can’t minimize the impact they have on students, our families, and our community.  

If you want to help ensure that your kids are back to school this fall, please sign this petition and share it with your friends. This petition will be sent to the ACSD Board of Directors ahead of their July 27 board meeting, encouraging them to vote “NO” to the hybrid plan that is being recommended.

Petition Closed

This petition had 1,820 supporters