STOP Hawaii Schools from blended/ hybrid learning and unnecessary regulations!
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1) Provide methods of teaching that do not involve parents to supplement forms of education by distance, virtual, or blended learning. We need alternatives that will not require parents to monetarily supplement their child's public education.
2) Implement better or alternative safety measures at school, outside of wearing masks that can be distraction and harmful to children's learning. This could include mental, and physical health concerns because of long periods of wearing masks.
We need options not mandated regulations from the DOE. Schools need the flexibility to provide education in consideration with realistic applications of safety measures.
This is important for the following reasons:
Parents are now left with having to financially support blended and hybrid learning. This would be impossible for any single parent, teacher, or homes with multiple children. Blended or virtual learning requires some supervision and most parents would have to somehow now financially supplement their child's public education to support these days. This is impossible for parents that have to work and do not have options. Not all parents can not homeschool, nor be expected to afford private school, nor pay for child services on the days kids are now blended. We rely on the public education system! This would also affect teachers with children.
It's not feasible to expect kids will all receive the same support, consistent education, or even child supervision that comes from the Public Education system. Kids need the structure and consistent learning provided by the classroom settings. Blended learning will only further the gap for families that already struggle to make ends meet. It is also important to note that the blended learning will leave the children with no support or degree educated teacher to ensure the curriculum is met. Teachers will be unavailable and having to teach the second round of students. The DOE needs to provide options for parents.
We also want the DOE to consider better health options for our children returning to school. There is still not enough information that’s supports that masks should be required for kids, nor the long-term effects of a child's health from wearing them all day. It is an added distraction for a fast-paced curriculum. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that in younger elementary age children it might not be feasible.
We want alternative safety methods to be considered including temperature checks, sanitation of classrooms/ equipment, access to hand washing stations. We should allow children to practice better methods such as; hand sanitizers for them, washing stations, and frequent disinfection of the supplies and school.
We are concerned younger kids (elementary school children) will particularity have a difficult time with keeping masks on for a full day, not breaking them, sharing them, losing them, sneezing in them, playing with them, have trouble breathing in them for the duration of the day, focusing on basics tasks and curriculum without constantly touching their face or adjusting them. This completely deflects from any real purpose the mask would serve. It is also hard to judge the effectiveness of each mask. Some kids will be provided with full filtered masks while others kids will be provided with a scarf. Who will monitor the masks? At what point will a masks need to be replaced? Are kids to come with new ones clean ones daily? Will teachers spend their days being mask police instead of being able to focus on the curriculum? The result will be not consistent nor effective for the purposes outlined by the Department of Health.
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