Naperville 203 should provide more Online Academy courses

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Edit: please also sign this sister petition - it includes an option to select the courses you would like to see in Online Academy so that we have a better idea of what to ask the District for. 

Currently, the school district has two options for learning in the fall. One is a hybrid model in which half the student population attends a full school day on one day, and then the other half on the next. The other is a completely remote "Online Academy", with severely limited options designed to just provide the credits necessary to graduate. 

 

Many students do not feel safe returning to school in the middle of a pandemic, especially when the threat does not show any sign of receding any time soon. With many experts warning of a "second wave" coming in the fall, students are understandably anxious about returning to a crowded school. States that have pursued extensive reopening procedures like Texas and Florida have experienced resurgence of the virus, and there is no solid evidence of a vaccine anytime soon. Many students were prone to engaging in risky health behaviors like vaping in school before the pandemic. Are we to expect that these same students will follow all safety protocols? Returning is simply not a safe option in the minds of many students. 

 

However, the structure of the "Online Academy" is extremely limited, designed to provide the bare minimum of education, especially with regards to the Junior and Senior classes. With this option, many students feel like they have to make a choice between their health and the classes that they want to take. This is not a choice that students should be forced to make, especially since it could impact their college admissions down the road, after this is all over. The hybrid model will require online learning as well, so online materials will have to be created for all the classes, not just the Online Academy ones. So it leads one to wonder: "Why not just provide fully remote options for all classes? If there are students learning online everyday in the hybrid model (i.e. switching days), should the model not support fully online learners as well?

 

With these ideas in mind, we ask that Naperville CUSD 203 re-examine their strategy for reopening with the interests of the students in mind.