Keep Colonial School District's Hybrid/In-person Learning Choice

Keep Colonial School District's Hybrid/In-person Learning Choice

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Lisa Dunleavy started this petition to Colonial School Board

Colonial School District parents/guardians need our schools to continue to offer an in-person/ hybrid option in September. We need to be given the freedom to make a responsible choice as to what we feel is in the best interest for our children backed by data from the CDC, AAP, county and state.  The CDC and The American Academy of Pediatrics have clearly outlined the importance of reopening in person school for children. According to the CDC, extended school closures have far reaching negative effects on the social, emotional, behavioral, physical health, economic well-being, and academic achievement of children and their families in both the short and long term. Schools who have the capacity to reopen should be permitted to do so.

The AAP states that they strongly advocate 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.

According to the 8/3/20 article about Pennsylvania’s Safe2Say tip app or hotline, last year, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a big rise in life safety reports, according to the 2019-20 Safe2Say Something annual report. “Life safety reports such as thoughts of suicide and self-harm have doubled since the start of the pandemic,” the report stated.

The current positivity rate in Montgomery County is between 3-4%.  Lower than 5% is considered having the virus under control.  Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh stated this in the last press conference.

Parents should be permitted to make their own choices regarding what they feel is in the best interest for their child’s well-being and that of their families. This is why parents were surveyed and the data pointed to parents seeking an in-person choice.  The school board unanimously voted to have an in-person choice after two lengthy meetings with ample input.  Nothing has changed other than learning new facts that still support that offering an in-person choice is the best decision for students.

We strongly urge the Colonial School District School Board to maintain the choices offered to parents – full virtual or hybrid (2 days in person) as outlined and approved at the last two school board meetings.  The undersigned advocate for the school board to maintain these two options when voting at the special school board meeting to be held on Thursday, August 6th, 2020 at 7 p.m. We do not want the hybrid option to be removed.

Thank you.

Supporting data:

PA: 

https://www.theintell.com/news/20200803/calls-reporting-thoughts-of-suicide-self-harm-rising-among-youth-pa-attorney-general-says?fbclid=IwAR2ebNSL1B82rznVAUOdrorl0nBrQFEP0jpoBk9UzjvcPe75xnl-tlMNYb4

https://morethanthecurve.com/hospitalizations-down-to-52-countywide-another-day-with-no-deaths-positivity-rate-steady-at-under-4/?fbclid=IwAR1LXnWNLCwJt9AcxdOHI392g9G0uuwjwdgHLGLLRjOtHckilWFh1_I1slU

 

https://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/28390/Montco-School-Guidance-Final

https://data-montcopa.opendata.arcgis.com/pages/covid-19

AAP

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/

CDC Citations:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/prepare-safe-return.html

Further citations from CDC web site:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.3102/0013189X20909814

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856720303373?via%3Dihub

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!