Reopen Springfield Public Schools

Reopen Springfield Public Schools

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Clayton Ballard
Clayton Ballard signed this petition

Join the parents of Springfield Public School (SPS) District in raising our voices and demanding a change to the Fall Re-Entry Plan. 
The two options as were stated in the Re-Entry Plan (rolled out on July 23, 2020) are simply NOT acceptable. 
The "In Person" option, as it currently stands, will only allow for students to be in schools two days a week. Parents MUST be given the option for their kids to be in school five days a week, not simply two. This is a problem for several reasons, some of which are listed below:  

1. Parents need to go to work 
This option makes it impossible for most families in the district to be able to go to work. Over half of the students in the district (52%) currently qualify for Free & Reduced lunches. This statistic alone shows that a majority of families in the district are already struggling financially. When the Springfield School Board decided to not give an option for students to attend school five days a week, they made a decision that will cause these households to struggle even more. The current unemployment rate for the city of Springfield has already spiked from 9,000 (Jan. 2020) to over 18,000 (May 2020). The decision of SPS School Board to not provide five-day education will force many parents to choose to either quit their jobs or leave their school-aged children home unattended during the workday. 
2. It's dangerous for kids
The Re-Entry Plan is NOT acceptable because it is dangerous for kids. Many children will be left alone at home to fend for themselves. In addition to the obvious safety risks that this poses, they will be on their own to keep up with the virtual learning that is expected of them. Simply put, kids cannot be responsible for their education in this manner. The kids who rely on school lunches will also be at risk for not getting the nutrition they need. 
3. What about students with special needs?
This current Re-Entry plan has no room for helping those students who are in need of special education services. The children who have current IEP's will not be supported using this 2-day "In Person" model. 

COVID-19 is not going away, and we, as parents, know this is a difficult situation to navigate. We can acknowledge that there is no plan that will be perfect, but this current "Re-Entry Plan" is simply NOT going to work for the parents of Springfield Public Schools. We have to be given the choice for a 5-day school week- - just as much as people at high-risk need to have the choice for total virtual learning.