Topic

elementary schools

48 petitions

Started 7 months ago

Petition to Indiana Charter School Board, Tindley Genesis Academy, Charles A. Tindley Accelerated Schools

Help Stop The Suspensions Due To Prejudice In The Charles A. Tindley Charter Schools

 In the inner city of Indianapolis, Indiana, there are a limited amount of quality public schools that our children can attend. Because of this, the quality schools have long waiting lists and to finally get accepted is an exciting time. My son attended a neighborhood public school for Pre-K that received a grade of D, so I knew I had to act fast to get him into a school that would help him flourish in academic success. I did my research and chose Tindley Genesis Academy; however I was not thorough enough when it came to the predjudice actions of charter schools. Statistics and data on charter schools nationwide have been in the public eye lately. The rate of suspensions among black male youth is at an all-time high. But it’s not exactly what you would think students would be getting suspended for. These suspensions are for minor petty actions, like not looking the teacher in the eye, not tying your shoes, forgetting homework, being late to school 3 times, not walking in single file lines, hairstyles, and more. And of course as I mentioned above, these are top quality schools when it comes to education so just taking your student out of the school and transferring them is not an option for most, unless you want to enroll them back in the neighborhood school with a grade of D. I want my child to understand that you cannot just run away from your problems, the system needs fixing and we will be here to see it change. Like most parents, I believe in discipline and being held accountable for your actions. I do not condone or tolerate disruptive behavior, in school, at home, or out in public. None of these actions that I previously mentioned above are desirable behaviors but the punishment does not “fit the crime.” I am seeking to find a disciplinary system that holds everyone accountable and only use suspension/expulsion as a last and final resort. I have started this petition to say to Tindley Genesis Academy that we, the families of Scholars, are tired of your zero tolerance policy. We are here to take a stand and remind you that you chose to open the school for a target demographic that has many different socioeconomic backgrounds. Tindley Genesis Academy lacks transparency and accountability. Tindley Genesis Academy practices skimming and weeding-out strategies so that they can shape their student enrollment. It decreases the likelihood of students with undesired traits from attending, such as students with disabilities, low test scores, students in poverty, and ESL learners. Tindley Genesis Academy needs to halt these predatory practices and along with the community come up with alternative disciplinary guidelines. I am petitioning the Indiana Charter School Board to stop approving contracts to charter schools with discipline policies similar to Tindley Genesis Academy. I want the board to hold all charter schools accountable and ensure that the rate of suspension among black male youths are investigated and corrected. The charter schools that do not comply with this should be dealt with swiftly and fined. This problem is not just within Indianapolis, but nationwide. Here is a link to an article that shows data about how charter schools nationwide suspend their students above average, thus, causing a weeding out of children with "undesirable traits and behaviors."  https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/09/the-racism-of-charter-school-discipline/500240/ My son is 6 years old and has been suspended several times this school year. When I spoke to the principal I reminded him that this is the age where children are learning how to control themselves in social settings. He gets really excited and playful in class but he is a straight A student, he participates in the school basketball team, he has several friends, and all he needs is a little time to develop his impulse control, just like any other 6 year old. He has a speech impediment (and has yet to receive speech therapy like we were promised upon enrollment) which is directly affecting how he perceives social settings. My son is being disciplined at home when I find out he has been disruptive, just like several families do. But what kind of punishment would you give a 6 year old that goes to the bathroom unsupervised and plays too long in the water? According to Tindley Genesis, that is bad enough for a suspension. According to the Tindley Genesis handbook (http://tindleygenesis.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/TGA-Scholar-Handbook-16-17-1.17.17.pdf Scholar's parents are supposed to be notified of an impending suspension and then have a parent-teacher meeting. Which I received neither.  We, the community, need to start holding Tindley Genesis and the entire school system accountable: Why are children not being supervised at all times? Why is the suspension rate so high among the black male youth population for petty infractions? Where are the in-house detentions, parent conferences, and tools necessary to ensure a Scholar is receiving the best care without missing vital days of school? Why are the teachers held to a lower standard when it comes to certifications, schooling, and training but the students grades K-3 are held at a higher standard than the teachers? We must get rid of zero tolerance policies. A disruptive child can be positively redirected in that moment to have the desirable traits that the administration is searching for. There are several published statistics about the effects of suspensions on children and how to enforce positive outcomes in children. And I will be more than glad to provide any scholarly published journal of data to support this. Suspensions for minor infractions are not only detrimental to the Scholar's success but also to their self-esteem, self-worth, and overall psyche. Within this new plan, every school within the Tindley Accelerated school system should have diversity training and certified staff that can handle any undesired behaviors.    And families of the Scholars are suffering as well. When you take children this young out of their school setting for disciplinary actions, the parents must find child care providers on a very short notice or take off from work. These inner city families may already have financial hardships, risk getting fired from their job which is taking resources away from the Scholar directly.   This scenario does not help like the administration might think it does. It does not teach parents to be responsible for their children like they claim (I’m sure we don’t need to be taught that since we went through the rigors of even trying to get our children into what was considered a great school) it shows us that schools once again are failing lower income families. They do not care about circumstances the child may be going through at home, they do not care that this severe negative action does not produce the desired traits they are searching for. It has the opposite effect on our families, children, and community. Please do not use us for ratings anymore. Our children are the future and they should not be subjected to inequality in a place they spend 8 plus hours of the day and should feel safe. Please share and sign this petition to let the administrators know that we will stand up for what is right for our children and the education system.      American Academy of Pediatrics  “Schools with higher rates of out-of-school suspension and expulsion are not safer for students or faculty … research indicates a negative relationship between the use of suspension and expulsion and school-wide academic achievement, even when controlling for demographics such as socioeconomic status. In other words, aggressive out-of-school suspension and expulsion policies may not only hurt those against whom they are applied but may also paradoxically hurt those students the policies were supposedly designed to protect and help … out-of-school suspension and expulsion that are used too readily are ineffective deterrents to inappropriate behavior and are harmful and counterproductive to the student, the family, the school district, and the community as a whole, both short- and long-term.”  – Policy Statement: Out-of-School Suspension and Expulsion (Mar. 2013)

Nichole C
9 supporters
Started 7 months ago

Petition to Monroe Public Schools

Hungry kids make poor students; it's time to extend lunch time!

This petition has been updated on April 20th, 2018   To the principals of all elementary schools within the Monroe Public School District: For years as we have been assured that our children are given ample time to eat lunch. However, this can hardly be the case. The children who attend kindergarten - 5th grade are only given approximately 15-20 minutes to: Leave class (including grabbing any applicable award tickets to spend at the shop) Wait in line to pick up their food, pay, and find a seat Lastly, eat their lunch before being told by teacher, staff and volunteers to leave the commons so other children can eat. The kids are told to leave whether they have had 1 bite or their meal is finished. For my daughter, lunch time is an extreme source of anxiety for her. She's in 2nd grade and panics about going to school because she feels she won't be able to eat enough. The kicker to that statement? She has an intestinal disorder and can not eat lunch from the school - she always has a packed lunch and gets to skip waiting in the long slow lines. By the end of the day they are able to finish their lunch, not when it is appropriate. This can only be done during last recess. The reason why this is not an acceptable resolution to the problem is because the kid's can only eat what was left over and left outside in a home brought lunch. All other kids have to throw out their uneaten food before they leave the commons. These children deserve and should receive more than this. I propose that beginning next school year (2017/2018) the school district increase the full school day by 30 minutes. This would allow the children to eat properly and ultimately improve their ability to learn. 04/20/18 UPDATE TO PROPOSAL: The purpose of the petition is to make the voices of parents and hungry children heard. We understand that time is needed to ensure that time can be added to lunch time. My proposal should be considered as an option for how to add time to an already heavily compacted day.  Another parent has suggested another option for consideration: 'The instructional requirements are not minutes per day, but instead, hours per year. For students enrolled in grades one through twelve, at least a district-wide annual average of one thousand hours, which shall be increased beginning in the 2015-16 school year to at least one thousand eighty instructional hours for students enrolled in grades nine through twelve and at least one thousand instructional hours for students in grades one through eight, all of which may be calculated by a school district using a district-wide annual average of instructional hours over grades one through twelve You could keep the days the same length and add a few instructional days before and/or after the regular schedule. For example - a few extra days in Sept. or in June or whenever school ends.'

Twila Coonan
68 supporters