Revert Davis School District back to a normal school schedule
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To the school board of Davis School District, and whomever else it may concern:
We, the students and parents of the Davis School District, find issue with the proposed plan to return to school this fall through splitting the student body based on last name. Upon examination of the plan it becomes apparent that this method does not actually decrease the odds of the virus spread. Because of the fact that neighborhoods and friend groups will be split based on last name, cross-interaction between the groups is still extremely likely. What about social distancing? Won't it be easier to do that with half the student body? In theory, yes, but in practice, no. At Davis High School, for example, the total student population is approximately 2,604 students, half that is 1,302 students. That is still a lot of students to deal with and no matter the number of students, social distancing is still extremely difficult to enforce with that many students. so it doesn't matter if there’s 2604 students or 1302 students . Students are still going to sit together to eat, work on projects in close proximity, talk, laugh, and be human together. And that's not a huge deal. We can still enforce a mask policy, and we can allow students who don't feel comfortable going in person to engage in schoolwork online.
Imagine a band, choir, or orchestra class trying to rehearse with half the students missing. Remember how much participation dropped when we went full online for term 4. Students struggle in non-traditional schooling environments. Mental health issues increase, while GPA's decrease. We also saw near the end teachers essentially giving up and adjusting grading scales so no one, no matter the amount of work, would pass. Another concern is for hands-on elective courses like woodshop. How will students get these projects done if they're only going to be able to work on it once a week, since your current plan is implementing an A/B schedule for the half week?
Perhaps a solution would be to do what Jordan School District did, and move to a 4 day, normal schedule. Or maybe shorten the school day like the Nebo School District did. But alternating groups simply will not be as effective as it may seem at first glance. So let's do what is truly best for the students, and try to get as close to normal as we can.
According to researchers at the National Centre for Immunization Research and Surveillance in New South Wales’, out of 863 people who were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 only two of them (0.23%) contracted the virus. In the study the researchers looked at students and staff at five primary schools and 10 high schools. The CDC(Center for Disease Control) has also found that adolescents only account for less than 7% of COVID-19 cases across the United States. According to an article also from the CDC, “School closure is harmful to children. It can lead to severe learning loss, and the need for in-person instruction is particularly important for students with heightened behavioral needs”. A study from The Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, could not confirm that any transmission of COVID-19 from children to adults occurred.
In short, the intentions here are good. We truly believe that the board wants what's best for the safety of the students. But if it's safe enough to come back in person at all, as you've shown that you believe it is, then we should try to establish some degree of normalcy. We respectfully request that you reconsider the plan for school. We thank you for your time.
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