Re-Opening Bridgewater-Raritan Schools for Full Week In-Person Instruction

Re-Opening Bridgewater-Raritan Schools for Full Week In-Person Instruction

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BRRSD Community started this petition to Bridgewater-Raritan Board of Education

It seems like just yesterday that the emails of parents and teachers were flooded with surveys from the school district asking for input and opinion on how to best meet the needs of our learners and what type of hybrid model would work best for our families. Although overwhelming at times, these surveys gave us a sense of hope that the district did indeed want to work together with families to provide the type of education that addresses and fits the needs of our students. The reality however, is that these surveys were not sent out just yesterday, but rather in July. Half a year has gone by and there has been no communication with families or teachers regarding the model that the board of education approved. There has been absolutely no plan forward or goal we are working towards that has been communicated. We were made to believe that the hybrid model was temporary, but nobody has an answer as to what the next steps are. It is time we demand a plan of action. 

A large number of our students are suffering the negative effects both academically and emotionally. Is the school district aware of this? Why has the school district not sent out surveys to parents, students and teachers asking how the hybrid model is working for them? The district should be held to the same principles they use to evaluate the effectiveness of their teachers. One of those principles is reflection. Teachers are regularly asked, what can they do better? Well, it’s time we demand this from our school district. What can we do better for our students? 


While the hybrid-model was proposed as the safest option during this time, it would be naive to think that our students are only exposed to the students in their cohort. In fact, the hybrid model does the complete opposite in terms of minimizing exposure. Many parents are forced to hire help or send their children to other learning centers on their virtual days, contradicting this theory while at the same time causing added financial strains on our families. An elementary student asked their parents while getting dropped off at a distance learning center this year, “Why am I allowed to come here everyday but I can’t go to my school everyday?” and to this day I cannot think of a logical response to that question.


We appreciate the measures that the school district has taken to keep our students and teachers safe. These measures have clearly worked as there has been no spread of COVID-19 reported in the schools. However, at this time, it is important to begin to reopen our schools, especially to our youngest and most vulnerable learners, while still maintaining proper and effective safety measures. Local school districts such as Branchburg have implemented changes to their model effective January 2021 while BRRSD has not even begun discussions on the topic. Branchburg specifically has admitted that...

“it has become clear that many of our youngest learners are experiencing difficulty reaching their potential with the variations that a hybrid learning model brings. We believe that the changes we are making will provide greater academic support for our students, as well as make learning in a virtual environment more manageable for students at home. After a great deal of thought, a decision has been made to modify our program… The back-and-forth hybrid model will be discontinued and parents will be asked to choose a 5 day ‘fully virtual’ or ‘fully in-school’ option for their children.” 

This petition is intended to demand immediate action from the Bridgewater-Raritan School District to begin reopening schools. Our students are suffering. The hybrid learning model is not working for all of our students and if we are going to stand by our mission statement that reads “We will teach them One and All, Young to Old and Big to Small…” then we must acknowledge and address the impacts that the hybrid model has had on our learners.


By signing this petition, you support the Bridgewater-Raritan School District and Board of Education coming up with a proposal that gives families the choice of full virtual or full in person instruction. 

 

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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!