ALL Schools in Kings County Need to Re-open

ALL Schools in Kings County Need to Re-open

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Renee Nielsen started this petition to Kings County Board of Education

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. -- John Dewey

Many people in our community are impacted by school closures. Parents have to figure out how to manage their student(s) distance learning (including paying for childcare or working less), grandparents and friends are now monitoring students during distance learning, and employers are having to allow children at the workplace.

The economic, physical, and mental strain of school closures is too much!

There are FaceBook groups dedicated to parents venting about how things are not working and attempting to support one another. These are just some of the stories perused within a week of time, happening all over the state of California.

  • Kids are failing (in only 3 weeks!) because there is no one home to make sure they are doing their work and holding them accountable
  • Homeless families are having students work in their car to access free wifi. (Unfortunately, the ABC 30 news article link is no longer valid... sounds like the local school may have requested it be taken down after helping to resolve the issue)
  • Kids are crying because they miss their friends, hate school, and feel ignored in zoom
  • Students are missing class because the teachers are not noticing they have to let students in
  • Students having internet issues are missing class and/or being marked absent
  • Screen time for our children is as much as triple the AHA (American Heart Association) guidelines JUST FOR SCHOOL. (Their guideline is 1-2 hours per day.)
  • Kids are not learning because engagement cannot be effectively monitored. It is far to easy to "stare" at the screen and have something else open.
  • Some parents can't take jobs during the school day because they want to ensure their elementary students know what to do and do their work
  • Parents are witnessing Zoom rooms being hacked with inappropriate content

There are plenty of reasons why school is not working in the distance learning format, but there also reasons why school should return to some normalcy. Children are not at serious risk of the Coronavirus illness https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/covid-19-in-children-is-usually-mild-deaths-rare-study-says/ar-BB15YKfx which poses a huge question for many parents who want their children to have a more normal childhood. A huge number of teachers want to be back in normal classroom setting despite what the news media is saying about teachers being afraid; they are tired of the technological challenges and the busywork it creates. Students and teachers who are concerned for their health can still do a distance learning model, but for the majority of students, the only thing stopping us is Newsom's "guidelines." 

Schools need to reopen. It is no longer okay that only private schools and people with additional income are able to send their children to an OPEN school or paid tutoring/daycare option. What about the English Learner (EL) student whose parents only speak Spanish and don't understand technology? These children are at a huge disadvantage. Parents with special needs children have had them home since March... these kids have likely regressed without the structure of their classrooms, especially autistic children who thrive on a schedule/structure.

The main issue over the last few years has been equity in education. There is nothing equitable about some students not having adequate internet (even if it is provided by the school), a printer, a parent/teacher to answer their questions/help with technological issues, friends to socialize with and improve mental health, a safe place to go for children in unsafe homes ... These are all known issues but nothing is being done!

As a county, we know our students and population best. Newsom doesn't know our challenges. It is up to us to take a stand and do what is right for the good of our students, community, and economy.

Kings County needs to make the plans to open ALL schools NOW.

**Please join me in fighting for the education of our children. As an educator and parent, I feel this is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately for their well-being and futures. For additional ways to support this cause, please email me at dragonfly05@gmail.com and request information/template to send a more personal account/letter to our local county school board, or draft your own, emails are below for convenience.

***NOTE: this is not a fundraising campaign. Any links asking for support to promote this cause are solely for Change.org, none of it comes to this cause. The only promotion received would be more visibility, but because this is a local petition, that is not needed. Please just sign, comment if desired and share with family and friends. Thank you for being a voice!


County Superintendent of Schools for Kings County - Todd Barlow todd.barlow@kingscoe.org

KCOE Board Members

Area 1 -  Marlene "Mickey" Thayer represents:
Central Union School District, Island Union School District, Lemoore Elementary School District, and Lemoore High School District mickey.thayer@kingscoe.org

Area 2 - Mary Gonzales-Gomez represents:
Corcoran Unified School District and Reef Sunset Unified School District mary.gonzales-gomez@kingscoe.org

Area 3 - Tawny Robinson represents:
Hanford Elementary School District, Hanford Joint Union High School, Kit Carson Union School District, and Lakeside Union School District tawny.robinson@kingscoe.org

Area 4 - Adam T. Medeiros represents: Kings River-Hardwick School District adam.t.medeiros@kingscoe.org

Area 5 - Glenn Estes represents:
Armona Union Elementary School District and Pioneer Union Elementary School District glenn.estes@kingscoe.org

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
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