Reopen Medford Township Public Schools for 5 Day In Person Learning for All Students

Reopen Medford Township Public Schools for 5 Day In Person Learning for All Students

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Andrea Kornick started this petition to Dr. DelRossi and

Medford Township Public Schools (MTPS) should reopen schools:  

  • for in-person learning five days per week;
  • safely and with precautions to protect students and MTPS employees;
  • for all students who did not choose 100% virtual learning;  
  • and those who can’t learn virtually;  
  • and in support of our working families;
  • and parents who choose in-person learning over the remote option.

The Medford Township School Board, District and County Superintendents, and Governor Murphy must seriously consider their obligations to provide a quality education to the Medford Township Public School students with a return to in-person instruction five days per week for families who choose to send their children into school buildings to commence without further delay.

1.   MTPS must build trust by showing parents, teachers, and staff specifically how and when it will move forward with five day in-person instruction for all families who choose this option.  The plans should include safety protocols, metrics and benchmarks with dates.  All stakeholders must understand and feel comfortable that while there is no 100% risk-free environment, there are safe standards that can and should be met.  And the detriment of keeping children out of school outweighs the risks associated with returning to 5 day a week in person learning for those who choose this option.

2. MTPS should review evidence from other school districts that have gone back 5 days per week successfully. Including desks facing in the same direction, barriers, students and staff wearing masks, and removing unnecessary items from the classroom to increase classroom space. (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) Based on recent data from WHO, there have been very few outbreaks reported in schools, especially in primary/elementary schools.  And transmission from student to student was very rare.  Even in other countries, where shutdowns are returning, the government leaders acknowledge that schools need to remain open for in person learning.

3. MTPS must acknowledge that keeping schools closed comes with massive, long-term individual and societal costs. Many children are already struggling to effectively learn, grow, engage, socialize, be active, or get needed support until schools reopen.  As a consequence of distance learning, many of the children who struggle the most under normal circumstances are now finding it difficult, even impossible in some cases, to receive effective instruction and other supports schools normally provide. Inequity in education is becoming more extreme every day, and even the most advanced students and those who typically do not struggle are suffering effects on their education and development.  These realities will only get worse as these closures continue.

MTPS provided parents with the choice to participate in 100% remote learning, as they should have.  But MTPS also needs to provide a practical and sustainable option for those families who want — and need — in-person instruction five days per week. 

HOW TO CONTACT OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS:

Medford Township School Board: mgoodwin@medford.k12.nj.us

MTPS Superintendent: JDelrossi@medford.k12.nj.us

NJ DOE Assistant Commissioner Kellie LeDet: kellie.ledet@doe.nj.gov

Executive County Superintendent for Burlington County, Daryl M. Vincent: Daryl.Minus-Vincent@doe.nj.gov

Burlington County Health Department Director/NJ District 7 Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D.: hconaway@co.burlington.nj.us or asmconaway@njleg.org

Senator Dawn Marie Addiego: senaddiego@njleg.org

Assemblyman Ryan E. Peters: asmpeters@njleg.org

Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield: aswstanfield@njleg.org

Governor Murphy

SOURCES FOR DATA:

WHO: What we know about COVID-19 transmission in schools

New York Times: Europe’s Locked Down, but Schools Are Open

Healthy Children: Return to School During COVID-19

Washington Post: U.S. schooling during covid-19 doesn’t deserve a passing grade. Here’s the way forward

Harvard Gazette: Is go-slow schools’ reopening failing kids?

Economic Policy Institute: COVID-19 and student performance, equity, and U.S. education policy

Schools For Health: Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools

CDC: The Importance of Reopening Schools

CDC Study: Limited Secondary Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Child Care Programs

AAP: Pediatricians, Educators and Superintendents Urge a Safe Return to School This Fall

INTERESTED IN GETTING MORE INVOLVED? 

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