GCPS, reconsider your plans to begin the school year!

GCPS, reconsider your plans to begin the school year!

July 2, 2020
Signatures: 3,990Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Citizens4betterGCPS

To the Gwinnett County Board of Education,

GCPS recently announced its intention to return to in-person instruction in the fall. The release of the announcement coincided with a rapid increase in the official reporting of new COVID-19 infections in both Gwinnett County and the rest of the state.  Local and national news outlets are now suggesting this could be the beginning of another, deadlier spike in transmissions that could potentially overwhelm our still inadequate capability to protect our families and community from the pandemic.

As members of this community, we are concerned about several aspects of the GCPS plan to return to schools.  Of most concern is how the plan came into being.  Rather than being the result of significant community input and expert guidance from public health officials, the plan appears to be a response to results from a brief community survey with a response rate below 15 percent.

We believe any serious plans to begin the new school year should, at a minimum, include the following:

  1. GCPS should provide various mediums and ample opportunities for significant and meaningful community input.  Surveys are inadequate, as there is no opportunity to participate in crafting the questions, and individuals may only choose among the limited responses provided.
  2. As a best practice, GCPS should provide better transparency with regard to all board meetings, partnerships, and task forces.  During the May school board meeting, a GCPS pandemic task force was repeatedly mentioned. However, the public has yet to be provided with a list of its members and their qualifications. Furthermore, all minutes of this task force’s meetings should be made available online within 72 hours. 
  3. Any proposal should meet all of the CDC’s guidelines for reopening schools--including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment.
  4. GCPS should ensure that each school has a registered school nurse (PRN-RN/LPN ) on site and must have a comprehensive plan in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak on campus.  This plan must provide support for parents, students, and staff affected by an outbreak and should include detailed procedures for contact tracing and a safe return to school.
  5. GCPS should provide flexibility of options regarding safe in-person instruction and digital learning for parents, students and educators.
  6. GCPS should address concerns with inequities regarding technology and access to the eClass virtual learning platform.
  7. Virtual workshops should be provided to help parents and students to better navigate digital learning--including comprehensive programs for ESOL students and other students with special needs.
  8. The 2020-2021 school year start date should be moved to a later date in order to allow for adequate time to address all requirements listed above.
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Signatures: 3,990Next Goal: 5,000
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