Shouldn't Everyone vote on SD181 Opening?

Shouldn't Everyone vote on SD181 Opening?

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Natalie Vinje started this petition to D181 Board of Education

In last month’s parent survey, 80% of families indicated they wanted their children to return to school full-time and in-person. A vocal minority coalesced and has managed to dissuade the Board and the District from its better thinking and toward an as-yet undefined ‘hybrid’ program.  This is a decision that has massive and immediate impact on every family in in the District, and given the huge importance of this decision and the speed at which it was taken, there needs to be another vote and reconsideration of the best path forward.  While we’re 5 months into this disaster, because of this decision the District is now starting over with planning back at square 1, just weeks before school starts!  We should take another day or two to determine if that’s really the best course.  So… why reconsider?  Here are a few points:

-If survey response rates were skewed higher and in fact fewer people favor full-time in-school instruction, let’s re-vote to get a handle on true potential physical occupancy.  That way we can determine what the school’s daily population density looks like.  If the true number is lower, then there can be more space and distance per student.  (and obviously let’s re-consider some common sense ways that we could reduce population density at every D181 school every day by utilizing certain normally shared spaces as classrooms instead).

-The reality that every parent fully understands is that elementary students will not be staying 6 feet away from each other anyhow!! (how many adults do you know that have a hard time staying 6 feet away from others, and we think the kids are gonna obey this idea??).  Every pencil is not going to be disinfected, every sneeze is not going to be covered, every hand walking out of the bathroom is not going to be washed.  Remember who we’re talking about here! 
 
-The comforting and compensating factor in all of this is the extremely low rate of transmission among children, and even after that the very mild severity of their symptoms.  Kids get and spread seemingly everything, but for whatever reasons they’re not susceptible to Covid.  Why are we treating them as if they’re the same potent vectors for the disease as everyone else when they are not.  

-There is a great deal of fearmongering among both good- and ill-intentioned stakeholders here.  The good intentioned folks who fear for their children’s or their family’s safety have the right and option for a full-remote educational experience.  They should exercise that option freely, and not place an enormous and undue burden on all of the families with whom they disagree.  A one-size-fits-all model doesn’t have to work here, and at home learning should be utilized for those who choose it for whatever reason. 

-For many, a hybrid or full remote learning option is simply not an option.  Parents who both work often cannot also fill the role of home school teacher, and a HOME SCHOOL TEACHER IS EXACTLY WHAT IS NEEDED for kids learning even semi-remotely at the elementary school level.  Our kids will be set back massively, for no health benefit to them and their families. 

-Understand the true risk to healthy children - it’s extremely low.  To consider that risk and evaluate it relative to what will be another semester (at least) of a bad overall learning environment (and hopefully not a completely lost school year!!) leaves no other viable option for many families. 

-Those of us who care more about our children's collective education and well-being rather than our personal fears and agendas need to push to have this plan voted upon. Let's give our children a chance to receive the education for which our tax dollars are paying!  Let’s recognize that the risk to children is low, and therefore also low to the teachers and administrators who have done such a phenomenal job with our kids to date.  Let’s re-adopt what was a thoroughly considered and thoughtful plan to have the kids back in school, versus the chaotic and haphazard approach we seem to be adopting now! 

-Please.  Ask the board to reconsider a forced and hasty decision. Our current path will lead so many families to leave our public schools in search of other options, damaging not only our schools but also our neighborhood.  It will really damage a lot of working families, especially those without the means to hire full-time additional childcare. And it will mean long-lasting and irreversible educational damage and even psychological setbacks for a large number of our kids.  We need to get them back in school.
 Thank you for considering this, and please share it widely among our D181 families. 

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