100% Against 100% Distance Learning for SMUHSD Students in the Fall

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Distance Learning is Not an Equitable Education. Please sign this petition against the San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees' proposal to start with 100% Distance learning this Fall. The Board of Trustees plan will be voted on in the June 25th meeting so please share this with other concerned parents, students and community members.   

The SMUHSD Board has ignored parent and student input and proposed a plan that starts with 100% distance learning with a phased approach where most students will not step foot on campus this year. While distance learning should be an option for students who need it, it should not be the default for everyone. Dr. Scott Morrow, the San County Health Officer, wants kids back in school. In addition, many Districts and private schools in the Bay Area are finding ways to welcome kids back to campus in the Fall. 

It's clear that District parents and students are comfortable with the risks of returning to school and the steps needed to mitigate these risks. In a recent survey taken by the SMUHSD 80% of parents and students want to return to campus in the Fall and 86.2% of those parents and students prefer a blended in-person and distance learning model versus a 100% distance learning model. 

Unfortunately, The California Teachers Association, has adopted a political power position that it does not want to work in classrooms this Fall under any circumstances. It's unclear short of a vaccine, which may never appear, when the CTA would be willing to teach our children in classrooms again.

Distance learning will disproportionately affect and be incredibly challenging and burdensome for lower socio-economic brackets as well as for our English language learners and our students with learning differences.  These students rely on in person access to teachers, materials, aides, tutors and supportive learning environments. 100% distance learning effectively will eliminate access to these vital resources that our most vulnerable students need.  The "lifetime" of a high school student is four years. We could lose most or all of the next few classes of high school students by keeping them away from their teachers, peers and a positive learning environment. 

Everyone agrees that distance learning was a huge failure in our public high schools last Spring. Teachers were not required to do any “Zoom’ classes and it was 100% self study. Students at all levels and backgrounds were abandoned.  Most failed to learn.  If we begin the Fall Semester and the students again are forced to 100% distance learn, the damage to their education will most likely be irreversable.

Social emotional development is critical in these formative years. Without in-person interactions with teachers and classmates, these developmental milestones will be missed. The psychological impacts of online education may include Isolation, depression and an inability to socialize resulting in among other things drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy and suicide.  

As Dr. Scott Morrow of San Mateo County writes in his Health Officer Statement (6/15/2020):  "Since my intent and words have been misconstrued by many, let me clearly state, I want to see kids back in school.  I also feel that it is very important that kids be allowed to be kids."

Please sign this petition and let the SMUHSD Board of Trustees know you are 100% AGAINST 100% DISTANCE LEARNING. THANK YOU.