Topic

children's education

49 petitions

Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to LGUSD School Board & Superintendent

Reopen LGUSD Schools

Dear LGUSD and Superintendent Paul Johnson, The purpose of this petition is to regain our rights to choose, as parents and taxpayers in Los Gatos, CA, to send our children to school utilizing the traditional classroom setting. On 6/4/20, the LGUSD School Board sent out a survey to families regarding 3 possible options for the 2020/21 school year - remote learning, hybrid, and full reopening. On 7/2/20 an email was sent out to families from the Superintendent stating "After careful consideration, we are currently moving forward with resuming some form of in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year.” On 7/15/20, parents received another email from the Superintendent confirming that schools would begin remotely but that their “plans for reopening are strong.” The email also included an arbitrary timeline for a hybrid schedule starting with Phase 1 on Sept. 8th and Phase 2 on Oct. 12th, etc.  On 7/23/20, CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield released a statement saying “it is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall.” A sentiment he has repeated several times since, and which is echoed by Dr Fauci, among others On 9/10/20, parents were asked to take another survey to determine support for in-person learning. Nearly 70% of parents voted in favor of returning to in-person school.  On 9/20/20, parents were informed that “The earliest that students could return would be during an Oct. 12-29 window.” Yet inexplicably, on 10/5/20, the LGUSD Superintendent, Paul Johnson, informed parents of his arbitrary decision to delay the hybrid learning option until at least January 2021, despite overwhelming parental support in favor of hybrid/in-person learning, and in defiance of the county and state guidelines, not to mention locally decreasing transmission rates. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “We recognize that children learn best when physically present in the classroom. But children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support, and other services that cannot be easily replicated online…”.  Additionally, the current AAP recommendation for screen time per day is limited to 1 hour or less.  Virtual learning far exceeds this medical recommendation and is in fact about to get worse for our middle schoolers. A new schedule is being rolled out on Oct 26th, whereby middle school students will be on zoom calls from 8:30am - 10:55am with just a 5-minute break in between periods (and after 70 minutes of solid screentime). For those students who have electives after "lunch", they will, on two days a week, have calls from 8:30am - 12:35pm with just two "breaks" - 5 minutes and 20 minutes (ostensibly for lunch).  Virtual learning is not conducive for the students, the teachers, or the parents. Nor is it meant for long-term learning. Often the responsibility lays with the parents to ensure their children are following the schedule, sorting out technical issues, providing extra academic support, etc. Even more so with the lower grades. With many parents working, this pressure on parents is unattainable. Students are suffering immensely - emotionally, socially, and academically, and these are likely to cause long-term effects. They are feeling lonely and anxious, isolated, and depressed and are falling behind academically. Many students also report feeling demotivated - we worry that the damage will be irreversible. After nearly 8 months, they were looking forward to returning to the classroom. Los Gatos is fortunate enough to have some of the lowest transmission rates in the county, and with the county/state mandates of temperature checks, social distancing, and face masks, the chances of transmission are minimal. Furthermore, we pay hefty taxes for the privilege of being in one of the best school districts in the Bay Area, with some of the best teachers.  We, as parents, whether working from home or outside of the home, are not qualified, trained, or educated in the way these teachers are, and cannot provide the quality of instruction and education that the classroom setting does. It is truly detrimental to the children's education experience and will set them back academically, emotionally, and mentally for the coming years.  We strongly feel that the decision to delay the return of face to face learning, leaving only the remote virtual learning choice, is a one size fits all approach in which only one viewpoint is accommodated.  It simply works for only those who want it this way. However, an overwhelming majority of families do not want to continue with virtual learning for their children, given the impact on their mental health, and learning loss. There are innumerous well-respected press articles quoting prominent child psychologists, scientists, and education experts agreeing that it is essential for students to return to in-person school without further delay. Indeed most studies have also found no link between re-opening schools and increased transmission rates. As parents, we can not stand by and allow our children to continue to suffer when there is no justifiable or legal reason to continue with the school closures. For the reasons stated above, we, the Parents, petition to reopen our schools for face to face learning without any further unnecessary delay. UPDATED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING FOR ADDED CONTEXT:  - Under the guidance of the California Department of Public Health, K-12 schools may open for in-person instruction when a county has been in Tier 2 (the Red Tier) of the State’s Blueprint for a Safe Economy for 14 days. As of September 22, 2020, Santa Clara County remained in Tier 2 for 14 days. K-12 schools in Santa Clara County were therefore allowed to resume full in-person instruction on September 23, 2020. On October 13, 2020, the County of Santa Clara moved into the State of California’s Orange Tier (Tier 3). For context, the Orange tier allows:  --Outdoor gatherings of up to 200 people and indoor gatherings of up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. This includes movie theaters, churches, cultural ceremonies. --Indoor dining up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.--Indoor museums and zoos up to 50% capacity--College sports activities without fans following County and State requirements--No capacity limitation for malls and other retail businesses. In LGUSD's reopening proposal, they have confirmed that: --families will have the choice to stay as remote learners from home, or return to-in-person school.  --plans have been put in place for students and teachers to be socially distanced at all times on campus (including in classrooms), as well as the strict maintenance of small cohorts. --all those on campus (students, staff, and teachers) will be subject to daily temperature checks, mandatory face covering (unless medically exempted/eating), and encouraged to hand wash frequently. The chances of transmitting the virus under these strict, but necessary, safety measures are minimal. We are aware that the risk is not zero but it is unlikely to be zero for several years to come, if ever. Our community rates are low and steady and there is no reason for further delay. They have already been without school for over 7 months. People are able to eat inside restaurants (no masks) and host indoor gatherings and yet children are not able to return to school despite the mandatory strict safety measures proposed. How must it feel for our kids to know they are not a priority? That their education, their socioemotional development, their mental health are not important enough? We should be moving heaven and earth for our children. And as long as it is deemed safe to do so, we, as parents, will fight for their rights. 

Amanda Jacobs
655 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to Matt McIntire, Boone County Board of Education

Response to the School Redistricting Proposal from the Triple Crown Jockey Club Families

A Response to the Elementary School Redistricting Proposal from the Families of the Triple Crown – Jockey Club Neighborhood Dear Members of the Boone County Board of Education, First, we want to express our gratitude to the Boone County Board of Education (BCBoE) for addressing the mounting problem of overcrowding at our schools by creating a new elementary school, Steeplechase Elementary. With the right redistricting, the opening of Steeplechase Elementary could reduce or eliminate the over-crowding occurring within Hillard Collins Elementary and New Haven Elementary. However, based on the two redistricting options presented at the Board of Education Special Meeting on October 13, 2020, we believe we are missing the opportunity to accomplish this goal. It appears that neither scenario simultaneously eliminates the over-crowding at both Collins and New Haven while adequately addressing what is educationally best for ALL of the Boone County students. Below are some of our concerns for each scenario: Flaws with Scenario 1: Opens a brand-new school at capacity, even though Steeplechase, Triple Crown, and surrounding areas still have land that will likely equate to additional housing in the future. Brings the Collins population almost 25 percent under capacity, even though the area's population is not increasing and has limited capacity to do so in the future. Why does this school need to be 25 percent under capacity? Busses 319 children from Collins more than 7 miles one-way through parts of Florence, Union, and into Walton.  Flaws with Scenario 2: Fails to solve the issue of Collins Elementary being at-capacity. Busses 149 children from Collins more than 7 miles one-way through parts of Florence, Union, and into Walton. Brings New Haven to just barely over a half-filled school. What is going to happen with all of the empty classrooms and current resources? Still does not leave much room for growth at Steeplechase Elementary, considering Steeplechase and surrounding areas have land that will turn into additional housing in the future. Isolates the Jockey Club neighborhood from the larger Triple Crown Community as a whole. This is very troubling for the families of the Triple Crown Community. The smaller neighborhoods within the Triple Crown Community are interconnected, and it is disconcerting to these families that their children will not be able to attend school with their neighbors that they interact with regularly.    In reviewing the two scenarios that have been brought forward for public input, we would like for the Boone County Board of Education and the Demographics and Growth Committee to help us understand the following:  Why are Steeplechase Elementary, Hillard Collins Elementary, and New Haven Elementary the only schools that are in the two proposed redistricting scenarios? Why are these the only two scenarios that the board is voting on for a final decision in December? How many other scenarios did the School Board and Demographics and Growth Committee review before narrowing it down to these two, and why were they ruled out? Why should a child have to sit on a bus for over 14 miles round trip down backroads each day to obtain an education when there are several elementary schools in closer proximity to Hillard Collins Elementary?  Due to the flaws identified in both scenarios and the outstanding questions we have for the Boone County Board of Education and the Demographics and Growth Committee, we ask the Boone County Board of Education to bring forward new redistricting scenarios. These scenarios should be more respectful of keeping larger communities together instead of breaking off small neighborhoods from each other. We acknowledge and commend the Board of Education members for attempting to prioritize access to the resources a new school would bring to those children who are more financially disadvantaged in our county. We as parents want every student to have the best chance of success, not just those living under our roofs. However, we feel that creating a new school located many miles away from the heart of the issues at hand and then bussing students over long distances to get there is a superficial fix at best. Therefore, we also ask that the school board members work diligently to create a better long-term solution for bringing enhanced educational resources to the areas of the county that need them the most. We ask that these new scenarios first be presented to the public for input, and eventually to the Board of Education for a final vote. Finally, we ask that these new scenarios more effectively solve for the overcrowding at New Haven and Collins while truly putting ALL of the Boone County students first. Sincerely,  The Families of the Triple Crown Jockey Club Neighborhood    

Katrina DeGrande
235 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Wyoming City Schools - Board of Education and School Administration

Keep WCS on the hybrid model or offer parents the option to select the hybrid model

The COVID-19 numbers are likely to spike again once school districts resume in person learning. Classrooms are only so large, making physical distancing difficult, and the more students each child is exposed to, the greater the risk of becoming infected if a student unknowingly comes to school with a COVID-19 infection. It's simply a numbers game, and we're already seeing this play out in colleges and districts that started before we did. While we would all love for our children to have the opportunity to learn in person, it seems like the safest route would be to remain on the hybrid structure for the first semester of the school year or, as an alternative, allow parents to opt for the hybrid model for their student(s). This would decrease the number of students our children come into contact with on a daily basis, and increase the teachers' ability to physically distance students in classrooms of all sizes. Taking this measure now will hopefully help to keep the numbers low enough that the district will not be forced to go 100% remote down the road.  We are asking the Board of Education and School Administrators to keep our district on the hybrid plan beyond this week. If the district cannot commit to that, then we are asking that parents are given a 3rd option of "hybrid learning", allowing parents to choose between fully on-site, fully remote, or hybrid model. Signers are parents of students in the Wyoming City Schools district. They agree for their names to be attached publicly to this petition.

Lynn Danen
199 supporters