Make Online Learning Work in New York State

Make Online Learning Work in New York State

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Keith Newvine started this petition to Governor Andrew Cuomo and

We write to you today out of concern for the lives of our students, colleagues, and community members. We had hoped that decisions made by school districts about school reopening would be based on the data. We had hoped that District Administrators would take this opportunity to design a model of education that had never been seen or tried before in order to protect the lives of children and adults--after all, what is there to lose except death. We had hoped that District Administrators would embrace online learning, lift it up, and make it work for the safety of children. That is not the case, however.

Administrators across Onondaga County had submitted reopening plans that include in-person learning/teaching in some capacity (Source). As a result, students and staff at almost all levels of K-12 schooling will be required to attend in-person at least one (1) day a week, and in many cases, even more frequently than that. The only exception to this is Syracuse City School District which will require all High School students to attend school via remote learning.

The following chart details how many students and staff will be required to attend in-person learning, in some capacity, in each of the Onondaga County public school districts as a result of their submitted reopening: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lVPlbHDu2WYp_fOIB2mI8up-mBvc6ZZKcy5puXmlcrc/edit?usp=sharing

The current infection rate for Onondaga County is .7%. That is: 3,373 (total cases) / 460,528 (total population in Onondaga County) = .7% (SOURCE). 

The current death rate for COVID-19 in Onondaga County is 5.9%. That is: 200 (total deaths) / 3,373 (total cases)= 5.9% (SOURCE). 

Therefore, that means that school districts in Onondaga County can expected the following number of infections and the following number of deaths, respectively: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CV8HaKeUsiHnQgf3SaeYkJbHMqYzuzEWtFknqq4aXQs/edit?usp=sharing

As a result of these statistics, we ask that you make the Executive decision to require all school districts to create a plan that does not put the lives of staff and students at risk. This could be done by embracing online learning, allocating resources (finances and staff) to provide students with the technology and digital literacy skills they need, and assisting families in finding child care--at little to no cost--for any child that they deem necessary to be supervised by an adult. 

Such an ask is a heavy one, but it is necessary. It requires creative problem solving, bravery, courage, and ingenuity to design a form of education that has never been seen before. However, we saw mountains get moved between March and June, and we watched teachers build a plane in the air. It is in that vein that we implore you to make the brave Executive decision to require school districts to go back to the drawing board and find a plan that does not put lives at risk.

Children's lives--our collective future--is at stake if we don't make this stand now.

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At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!