Lunches and non-essential visitors at school

Lunches and non-essential visitors at school

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Karla Brown started this petition to Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and

Parents and Children alike are excited for back to school on September the 9th. So many things have changed over the last 6 months, but their need for structure and social interaction has not changed. We understand, as parents, that our children need to be safe while attending school, hence the rules and regulations required. Some of these regulations, however,  are a bit too strict due to the fact that there is only one active case of covid-19 in our province and that person is and has been self isolating, so the risk is very low. All we are asking for is leniency and for some of the decision-making to be left to the school's themselves and the parents and families involved.

Example: our school has approximately 80 students and 10 staff. We facilitate three communities in our area and our school is very vibrant. We participate in extracurricular such as robotics, and have community support from other organizations. We offer breakfast programs at our school as well as Sports in the evenings. These things should be able to remain in place as long as social distancing can be adhered to and all required PPE can be worn by any non-essential visitor in the school. Give me 1 good reason why they can't?

I am a parent, volunteer, and worker in my community and I would be more than happy to offer my assistance as I have before with the breakfast program and Sports in the evening. And I am just 1 of hundreds or thousands that would be willing to help all over our province. With of course,  the understanding that I would have to complete a health questionnaire and take names and numbers of any participants for contact tracing and ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. It's not difficult to do, we have been doing well all summer with much success, and that was without the mask requirement. Parents are not asking for much, we understand that covid-19 is serious, but if we are safe to go in stores and on beaches and in gatherings of 100 people, then why can't I go to my children's school, sign a truthful questionnaire acknowledging I'm not sick and any other appropriate questions, don my mask and gloves and serve much needed nutrition to our children. Many of whom come from single-parent and low-income families. They rely and appreciate all the food they receive at our school. Sure seems essential to me?????

Just to elaborate further on the food aspect, microwaves are not allowed to be used in our school. Children will be required to eat their lunch and recess at their desk with no help from their teachers anymore. This in itself will be a struggle for the smaller kids, but what about all the children that rely on hot meals being dropped off at lunch time? There are a lot that won't eat sandwiches and you won't allow any organizations to serve food, even though we can order and eat safely from any restaurant on the island... ??? Also, how will the teachers get a break if they all have to stay in the classroom all day with the kids?? 

For lunch drop off,  Parents don't even have to go inside the school, a volunteer can be set up a outside and food organized by grades to be left in the porch for the teachers and/or admin staff to distribute. It just doesn't make sense why some of these minor back to school issues are being completely shut out when it is quite feasible to do all these things with a little support from local school councils, parents, and volunteers. There is an an unacceptable amount of work being placed on our teachers and admin staff at the school's right now, all because the government won't allow "non-essential visitors" in the school, even if they can complete all required documentation and agree to wear appropriate PPE at all times in the school. Why would the government say no to help from the families of the children at school?? 

I'm not disregarding the parents that disagree with this or are unsure about sending kids back to school.   If they are concerned about sending kids to school safely, why was there no commitment to a province wide K-12 curriculum for virtual learning?  If you choose to keep your kids home, that's great and is your choice.  There should be resources for you. But the rules should not be so strict for those returning to school. My child is starting kindergarten this year, and his big sister is not even allowed to walk down the hallway and visit him in his classroom. That breaks my heart.

We are supposed to be "All in this together" so why not let us help our children and our school staff get through this school year, it's a September like no other, we all can attest to that.  

There are many other topics I could discuss but I chose this one as our children's nutrition contributes greatly to their mental and physical health. It is a crucial component of Healthy Living and should be addressed now before school starts! 

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