Protect Westminster Public School Students and Teachers

Protect Westminster Public School Students and Teachers

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Concerned Citizen started this petition to Westminster Public Schools

Despite large neighboring districts like Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools choosing to hold off on in-person learning Westminster Public Schools has instead chosen to push forward with in-person learning at a time when instances of COVID-19 are rising in the metro area and pose a significant risk to the students and teachers that will be in the classrooms interacting. This is especially troubling given Westminster Public Schools robust investments in the Empower platform, an exclusively online lesson planning, facilitating, and grading platform that WPS teachers will be using regardless. Additionally the district has a Virtual Academy that could support on-line learning until in-person learning can return. 

In her letter to the Tri-County helath department the superintendent of Westminster Public Schools Pamela Swanson states that "Westminster Public Schools recognizes that the politics of COVID-19 are nearly as toxic as the disease, in fact more toxic for the long-term impact on our economy and social structure. We want to work collaboratively with our elected officials, health experts, local community and parents to find a solution that meets the needs of every segment of the community. It is only together that we can face this challenge-a challange that goes beyond the effects COVID-19 has on the body."

We disagree with Pamela Swanson's reasoning for making in-person learning a priority over the safety and well being of students and their teachers. This is a disease that has the potential to kill at risk individuals, such as teachers in their later years or students and teachers that have pre-existing health conditions that put them at greater risk if they are exposed. Though the Superintedent is surely aware of this she is unable to see the forest through the trees. Citing the political, economic, and social effects of not opening does not excuse her downplaying the effect that even one infection could cause in the community that the district claims to serve. The concerned educators and citizens that have signed this petition are not looking "beyond the effects COVID-19 has on the body" when we gauge the wisdom of returning to in-person learning during the midst of a diseases resurgance.

Westminster High School alone enrolls around 2,000 students a year. We doubt the administrations ability to manage the logistical requirments of moving two thousand students within a building without breaking CDC guidelines and putting lives at risk. The school board, who meet in the same building reguarly, according to their page on the district site have been "temporarily holding business meetings via Zoom online format in order to practice safe social distacning routines and will transition back to the regular meetings as soon as it is safe for everyone." The school board made these decisions from the safety of their homes. Surely, if the school board members are confident that it is safe to return to in-person learning then they will be in building the first weeks of school to stand in solidarity and assist the students and teachers whose lives their decisions are putting at risk. 

We strongly encourage the district to consider the ways in which Aurora Public Schools and Denver Public Schools are looking to safely open their schools by beginning the year with virtual learning, prioritizing at-risk students such as those in special education that need in-person learning soonest, and opening the schools for all students at the safest and soonest time.  

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!