Letter to LISD: Requesting Meaningful Change

Letter to LISD: Requesting Meaningful Change

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BigMama Ali started this petition to learning coaches and

 
Thank you for your time and effort as members of the Board of Trustees. As you are aware, you have been elected because we have put our trust and confidence in you to do right by our children. 

It is with that trust and confidence that I turn to you now to have my voice, along with the voices of other parents in your district, heard. Additionally, my understanding of Education Code Chapter 26 is that, as a parent, I have a right to actively participate in creating and implementing educational programs for our children. That is what I would like to do now. I will thank you to read this letter/petition with the same patience, care and concern with which it was written.

Concerns:
1. Edgenuity 

In general: Edgenuity issues are not limited to VPN and connection, error messages, loading problems. It goes far beyond that. Edgenuity is dated, not user-friendly, the lessons are monotone, the overall assignments are unnecessarily excessive, certain assignments do not work on iPads or safari, submissions are difficult (for example, it is not compatible with Google Drive). The program requires supplies for assignments that are not always readily available. Worst of all, the content is not conducive to learning. The kids are not learning because they are too focused on handing in assignments. Even with all those comments, I am actually holding back. 

For Middle School: Removing the dates for work assignments are just a bandaid. The amount of work is still the same.  

For Elementary: Parents should not have to be printing anything or supplying paraphernalia for classes and while learning coaches are expected to be hands on, the program should not be so bad that kids do not even want to participate.

2. Standardization

In general: There is no uniform standard across the schools for teacher expectations, live instruction, assignment submission deadline, etc. Removing deadlines for middle school is going to make it even less uniform because the submission requirements will be different from school to school, teacher to teacher. 

3. Live Instruction

In general: Students need more face to face time. 

For Middle School:  My middle school pod gets ZERO live instruction. 

For Elementary: Some teachers give only give (3) 20 minute meetings all day. Some go above and beyond by helping kids go through the Edgenuity assignments during several live meetings. 

Suggestions:
1. Edgenuity

In general: Either get rid of Edgenuity and make virtual the same as remote or have teachers do step by step instruction with Edgenuity in live sessions.

Get rid of Edgenuity: and require assignments from workbooks AFTER live instruction (which should be recorded for those who cannot attend live). Leave Edgenuity for those who want to use it on their own time, but do not use it as the platform teachers are expecting assignments from. Use good old fashioned books. That is what you used, that is what I used. We turned out okay. Our kids will too.

If you keep Edgenuity: have teachers work through the Edgenuity assignments with the kids so the kids can ask questions as they arise to a live teacher as they would in class, as they do in remote. Still do not require submissions, rather let teachers assign homework, again, as they would if the kids were in school.

I understand the district may have contracted with Edgenuity and invested a large sum of money. Unfortunately, that may be a loss that we need to accept because our kids are getting a sub-par education as a result of this program. Further, it is impacting the mental health of both the children and parents.

2. Standardization

In general: Standardize the requirements across the schools. For ex, 1) require a simple method of submitting assignments; 2) require a minimum number of hours for live instruction each day for each grade; 3) record all live instruction for those who cannot watch it live; 4) make submission deadlines on Sunday night (not daily - it is putting too much pressure on parents).

3. Live Instruction  

In general: Either mimic remote learning or see above about keeping Edgenuity and having teachers go through assignments.

Honestly, I am not sure if the district had a way of remote learning, why didn't they do the same for virtual learners? It seems the virtual learners are being treated like 2nd class citizens, as if their education is secondary to those who are learning remotely.

There are several other questions I have like who did LISD consult with for virtual learning; did LISD look at what other districts are doing; what was the process of choosing Edgenuity and who was involved; was virtual learning intentionally made difficult to force parents to send kids back at the end of 9 weeks; and so on. However, I will not ask those at this time as I am looking for fixing the problems and not just satisfying my curiosity. Right now it is about our children.

Board of Trustees and all responsible parties at LISD, when people move to enroll their children in LISD, they do so because of its great reputation. Please don't let virtual learning for LISD be the downfall of its reputation.

Please do right by our children.

This letter is available online and can be found at the site below with signatures from those in LISD who support it: https://www.change.org/LettertoLISD

Pursuant to Education Code Section 25.034, I reserve the right to request a hearing to discuss this matter further. Because time is of the essence, please contact me as soon as possible.

Thank you

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