Get Bangor kids back to quality in person education
Get Bangor kids back to quality in person education
We, as concerned taxpayers and parents of the Bangor school community are requesting that our kids are placed back in in person school, in a quality learning environment. Quality education is ESSENTIAL to the future of our country. Virtual learning does not work well for the majority of students. Virtual learning is falling short for most of our kids and we are failing them. The students it works well for do have a virtual option in the school district - CRVA. For students that do not learn well virtually, an in person option is NECESSARY. School is an ESSENTIAL part of our community and we owe it to our kids and their future to get them back in an effective learning environment.
Reasons why Bangor schools should go back to in person instruction and focus only on number of positive cases, quarantines within the school buildings to determine the mode of learning:
- Many schools in our area have successfully had in person for either the entire school year or majority of it. We need to follow their example, what are they doing to be so successful? Bangor is a small school and can implement these mitigation strategies to get back to school.
- Majority of the Scenic Bluffs conference
- Aquinas and Luther, all private schools including St Paul's in Bangor.
- Schools in New York City even started to go back to in person for the younger ages. If they can do it, Bangor certainly can.
- Many more schools in our area/Wisconsin are in person and holding co-curricular activities successfully.
- The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics have come out in favor of having kids in school. The AAP stated that strict adherence to the 6' rule is not necessary and that "adherence to a specific size of student groups should be discouraged in favor of other risk mitigation strategies” and “reducing classmate interaction/play in elementary school-aged children may not provide enough covid-19 risk reduction to justify potential harms”. https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/
Scientific evidence points to limited risk of transmission to others by younger kids.
There isn't evidence that young kids transmit the disease - from the American Academy of Pediatrics https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2020/07/08/peds.2020-004879 ("COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame")
The largest study of COVID-19 in children, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates substantially lower risk and severity of COVID-19 in children https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2020/03/16/peds.2020-0702.full.pdf
From the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine calls to reopen schools “Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID Pandemic”: “Weighing the health risks of reopening K-12 schools in fall 2020 against the educational risks of providing no in-person instruction, school districts should prioritize reopening schools full time, especially for grades K-5 and students with special needs.”https://www.nap.edu/read/25858 https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2020/07/schools-should-prioritize-reopening-in-fall-2020-especially-for-grades-k-5-while-weighing-risks-and-benefits
Deaths of children continue to be extremely low according to data from the CDC, and there is additional data supporting this in the CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal new study from South Korea https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/10/20-1315_article And for any kids with a co-morbidity or pre existing condition, they have the virtual option.
- Dr Fauci is urging schools to open:
- White House task force meeting that also suggests the importance of in person school:
White House coronavirus task force briefing - Nov. 19, 2020Specific quotes:
1. VP Pence: “there have been actions taken in jurisdictions around the country in regards to closing school - I want the American people to know- it the position of this task force, of this administration and the CDC that we do not need to close our school.”
2. Dr. Redfeild from the CDC: “we should not be making emotional but data driven decisions when we talk about what we’re doing for institutions or commercial closures. For example, last spring the CDC did not recommend school closures. I will say back in spring there was limited data. But today there is extensive data we’ve gathered over the last few months that confirm that K - 12 schools can operate with face-to-face learning and they can do it safely and responsibly.”
Decisions need to be based on science, not on feelings or fear - large scale studies published in peer reviewed journals and recommendations from trusted authorities such as the CDC and AAP need to be considered. As well as recommendations from the US COVID-19 task force.
- Current virtual situation is nearly impossible for parents and is creating a tremendous burden on families
- Both working parents and stay at home parents are being put in an impossible situation. Even for families where one parent is either able to work from home or doesn't work and is available to help with school work, that parent is not a qualified or acceptable substitute for a teacher. Most families do not have the luxury of a parent available to help with the school work.
- An unreliable schedule is impossible for parents to navigate. Changing the schedule every week makes it incredibly challenging, if not impossible, to organize childcare. It also creates risk of more spread in the community, because parents have to ask multiple people to watch their children, causing kids to be exposed to more people, and the most vulnerable group often have to pick up the slack - the GRANDPARENTS!
- No in person school means even older children and some not old enough to be home alone are potentially being forced to be home alone and facing neglect or little to no supervision during the school day (see financial burdens, families are being forced into this).
- Older children are not staying home, they are going to their friends houses and participating in less safe activities during the school day with no masks or social distancing or extra cleaning measures.
- Financial burden:
- The current plan is impossible for parents who have to work but don’t have the money to pay for full-time childcare. This in some cases could lead to young children at home unsupervised or even cases of neglect due to necessity and money issues.
- Many private and religious schools are 100% in person. This creates a situation where only well off families are able to get quality education.
- Many parents have to purchase more internet bandwidth to accommodate the Virtual situation, also placing an undue burden on their household.
- Even though school meals are being provided/delivered, students choose to eat the food at home, and eat more/snack more often at home - which places an undue financial burden on families. And can contribute to childhood obesity.
- Mental health/educational deficits. The mental health issues/strain and the educational deficits caused by virtual learning are heavy and not yet realized. In person school and being around friends and teachers supports mental health for a LOT of kids. We need an in person option to ensure that our kids do not suffer from the effects of depression, anxiety and poor mental health at this young of an age. We believe that Bangor can mitigate covid-19 risk all while providing quality IN PERSON education to our students.