Allow students to return learn full time in person by abolishing gating criteria

Allow students to return learn full time in person by abolishing gating criteria

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Nikki Cannezzaro started this petition to Blue Valley Board of Education

Unless the Blue Valley Board of Education takes action at the Nov. 9 board meeting, it is very unlikely that all students in the district will return to full time in person learning during the 2020-2021 school year, despite electing the in person learning mode.  Currently, the Blue Valley School District utilizes the Kansas Department of Education’s suggested gating criteria to dictate the students’ mode(s) of learning during the pandemic.  The gating criteria primarily considers the number of infections in the community, without regard to severity of symptoms or deaths, especially as it relates to the student population.  The gating criteria does not consider the educational, emotional, social, behavioral, and safety needs of the students.  The gating criteria also fails to recognize how well the district, and schools within, have been able to implement mitigation measure and safety precautions which have proven successful in preventing transmission within the schools.  

The number of COVID infections is increasing in Johnson County.  This means that three of the gating criteria, which are driven by the number of infections (incidence rate, percent positivity and trend), are at the red zone, or will be very soon.  The other two criteria (absenteeism and hospital capacity) are not tied to COVID infections, and even with very low infection numbers will likely inevitably end up in the red zone in the next month.  As for hospital capacity, every winter hospitals reach capacity.  Therefore, reaching the red zone for hospital capacity is imminent irrespective of COVID infections.  

Under the gating criteria dictating the district’s learning mode, the Red Zone mandates remote learning for all students.  Accordingly, the Board of Education must reconsider its decision to use the KSDE gating criteria to determine the mode of learning.  Even the Johnson County Health Department, in the face of rising infections, has acknowledged the shortcomings in the gating criteria’s failure to account for the educational, emotional and behavioral health and well being of the students, the effective mitigation strategies employed by the schools and low transmission rates among school age kids.  To that end, the JCDHE is recommending that districts not strictly adhere to the gating criteria, and instead must give significant consideration to the shortcomings of the gating criteria.  

The Board of Education has been asked to put this item on the agenda for Monday’s board meeting, but those requests have gone unanswered.  By signing this Petition you are showing your support to ask the board to abolish the gating criteria and address this at the November 9 board meeting.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!