Petition to Concerned Parents of Long Beach
A Petition for the Children of Long Beach!
Our K-5 children currently attend Physical Education/Gym once in a 6 day CYCLE. In comparison, other districts on Long Island have Gym 2-3 times a WEEK. Are you aware that in the month of November, Long Beach children attended Gym only 2-3 days depending on which day the special fell? Whereas, all of the other districts surveyed went to Gym 8-11 times in that same month. Additionally, in order to meet the state mandate, The Long Beach School District has removed traditional "recess" and has turned it into a physical education class. That means during an entire school day, our children only have 22 minutes to eat lunch, unwind and socialize with their peers before organized "recess" begins. Gone are the days where a child can choose what they want to do during their recess. In K-2 the specials are: Music, Art, FLES (Spanish), Gym, Library and Computers. Do our students really need 42 minutes within every 6 day cycle dedicated to visiting the library? No. Couldn't this instead be achieved by having the kids periodically visit the Library with their classroom teacher? In grades 3-5, the specials are: Music, Art, FLES (Spanish), Gym, Health and Spirit (IB Prep). Could the state mandates for health education instead be met by a periodic push-in health lesson in lieu of 42 minutes within every 6-day cycle? According to The National Association for the Education of Young Children, "School recess is often the only time during the workday that children are able to be care-free - a time when their bodies and voices are not under tight control. It is a widely held view that unstructured play is a developmentally appropriate outlet for reducing stress in children's lives, and research shows that physical activity improves children's attentiveness and decreases restlessness". It's time to take a stand for our children and demand what is necessary for their health and well-being. Please sign this petition supporting the placement of Gym twice within the 6 day Cycle.
Petition to Superintendent Steve Lockard, FCPS School Board, FCPS Board of Supervisors
FCPS: Save AAP Centers (and save bus transportation to Centers)
The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Budget Task Force is recommending eliminating AAP Center Schools. Technically, they recommend eliminating bus service to all AAP Center schools (gifted and talented magnet schools) at both the elementary and middle school level (grades 3-8) and instead replacing them with “Local Level IV” services (LLIV). What this means in plain English is that students will no longer have a choice to go to a gifted magnet or center school, but rather, will be forced to stay in their local or "base" school, unless they can secure their own transportation. And it is only a matter of time, once there is no transportation, to close the doors on all AAP Center Schools. FCPS says that they will instead create gifted programs in every local school, so they claim no one will be adversely affected. But AAP Center Schools and Local Level IV base programs are NOT equal. FCPS may also use positive spin terminology like “creating a Center in every school” – which sounds good in theory – but in reality means simply that everyone has to stay at their local school, so there is no longer a choice to go to a “true” Center school - one that brings in AAP kids from multiple schools. The local schools will not have the same resources nor the same size peer group. This may end up being a form of discrimination, as students in the poorest schools are likely to be most severely impacted. AAP Centers and LLIV (base) schools are not all equal. Here’s why: · Resources. Do we really believe the gifted programs at the poorest schools, in the poorest neighborhoods, will be as good as the gifted programs in the wealthy schools, in the wealthy neighborhoods? Some schools have wealthier families, with wealthier PTAs donating more resources. Some schools have more stay at home parents, with more time to volunteer at the school. As a result, some schools have many, many more opportunities for enrichment and clubs, like chess club, debate, model UN, robotics, science fairs, math Olympiads, etc., etc. These are activities that AAP kids need to thrive. If FCPS truly believes all Lev el IV Schools in the County are equal, then why not continue to offer the choice and see how many students voluntarily elect to stay at their local school, versus how many opt to take the bus to the AAP Center school, with more resources? If the two are truly equal, then FCPS would not be saving any money with this proposal, because everyone would choose to stay in their local school anyway. · Peer Groups / "Critical Mass". Peer group or “critical mass” of like-minded students is important. Even if you assume two different schools, one Local Level IV and one AAP Center school, can be equal in terms of quality, the number of AAP qualified kids in the school also matters. Imagine a situation where the LLIV program has only 3 or 4 AAP qualified kids, but the AAP Center, which brings AAP kids from multiple schools, might have two or three CLASSROOMS full of AAP students. Anyone with an AAP kid knows that they might feel like a “nerd” or outcast when they are in the minority. But at the AAP Center school, where most kids are like them, they “fit in” and thrive. This is important not only socially and psychologically (for self confidence), but also academically. When they don’t fit in, they will stop “acting smart” and will start trying to fit in by not standing out academically. In a Center school the peer group pushes each other academically, so they all strive to achieve more. Studies show peer groups matter. Students in Local Level IV schools with small "cohorts" will be disadvantaged. This proposal is discrimination, plain and simple. The poor and the minorities will be disproportionately disadvantaged by this change for two reasons – first, because the poorest schools with the most minorities will be disproportionately affected, and second because the wealthiest families will be most able to secure transportation to keep their options open. Sign on to this petition if you want to tell FGCPS (the Superintendent, the Board of Supervisors and the School Board) that AAP Centers and Local Level IV AAP Programs are NOT equal, and that AAP Centers should be preserved, along with the right to take a bus to the AAP Center near you.
Petition to People who CARE about Robert E. Lee High School
Keep the name ROBERT E. LEE HIGH SCHOOL in Staunton, Virginia.
As many of you already know, there is a movement and petition to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, VA to Staunton High School. As graduates or folks who attended Lee, and as taxpayers, we need our voices to be heard to NOT change the name of our school This is a time to show your passionate support by signing this petition and showing the School Board that we ARE and ALWAYS will be "THE FIGHTING LEEMEN" and DO NOT want our history and school name changed. Please sign and share with your friends. Also please share with any alumni associations! Time is of the essence - the group petitioning for the change plan to be present at the November School Board meeting. We need to get this filled with signatures NOW!!! Thank you!
Petition to Fairfax County School Board
Rename J.E.B. Stuart High School after Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
We have been friends since 8th grade in Fairfax County, Virginia, and attended J.E.B. Stuart High School. When our school was founded in 1959, it was named after Stuart, a Confederate General, to protest the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling that ended the segregation of public schools. Today, this school is attended by a diverse group of students who should not have to attend a school that bears the name of a man who fought to keep African Americans enslaved. So we're calling on the Fairfax County School Board to rename it Thurgood Marshall High School. Not only was Marshall the first African American Supreme Court Justice and a civil rights leader, he was our neighbor and a member of our community. When we were at J.E.B. Stuart in the late ’70’s, the school symbol was Stuart riding a horse and waving the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag was at the center of our basketball court and on our athletic letter jackets and wasn’t removed until 2001--but the symbol of Stuart on a horse waving a flag (now solid blue) remains. No one should have to apologize for the name of the public high school you attended and the history of racism it represents, as we and so many alumni of Stuart have felt the need to do our whole lives. The killings of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist who proudly flew and wore the Confederate battle flag was a tragic reminder of how these symbols of hate continue to fuel racism and violence. And it’s sparked a national conversation about the appropriateness of honoring the Confederacy, especially in institutions of learning. Renaming schools is not an uncommon practice. In fact, in 2013 a father in Jacksonville, Florida launched a successful petition on Change.org to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. Forrest was a Confederate General and leader of the Ku Klux Klan. We have the support of many current students, represented by Students for Change, and former students, represented by Alumni for Change, as well as the Fairfax County NAACP and People Demanding Action. It’s time to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School.Please sign our petition to help us honor a true leader and hero by creating Thurgood Marshall High School. Bruce Cohen is an Academy Award-winning producer of film, television and theater. Bruce won the Best Picture Oscar for producing AMERICAN BEAUTY in 1999. He earned additional Best Picture nominations for MILK (2008) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012). He was nominated for an Emmy for producing the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2010. Bruce has always been passionate about promoting fairness and equality. He graduated from J.E.B. Stuart in 1979. Julianne Moore is an Academy Award-winning actress, who won the Best Actress Oscar this year, as well as the Golden Globe and the SAG Award, for STILL ALICE. She earned four additional Oscar nominations for Best Actress in THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1999) and FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002) and Best Supporting Actress in BOOGIE NGHTS (1997) and THE HOURS (2002). Julianne works diligently to effect change for many causes that are close to her heart. She attended J.E.B. Stuart from 1975-77.
Petition to Louisiana State House, Louisiana State Senate
Louisiana Public Elementary Students Need Recess
We would like to petition the Louisiana State Legislators to pass a bill that would guarantee all Louisiana public school students in preschool, kindergarten, and grades one through six have recess periods of supervised, unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors, 5 days per week, for a minimum of 20 minutes a day (as recommended by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention). The benefit that this would provide for our students is undeniable. Some Louisiana schools do provide a break during the day but many do not. I find this to be unacceptable, not only for my 8 year old daughter who has only had two free-play breaks so far this entire school year, but for all of the elementary students in our state. Louisiana children as young as 3 and 4 are being denied free play time in school. This is not just ill conceived, it is potentially extremely harmful. The American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on School Health issued a policy statement in 2013 about The Crucial Role of Recess in School. According to the statement, they are very concerned about the widespread reallocation of daily activity time in school in favor of additional academic instruction. They believe that “recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons.” “Just as physical education and physical fitness have well-recognized benefits for personal and academic performance, recess offers its own, unique benefits. Recess represents an essential, planned respite from rigorous cognitive tasks. It affords a time to rest, play, imagine, think, move, and socialize. After recess, for children or after a corresponding break time for adolescents, students are more attentive and better able to perform cognitively. In addition, recess helps young children to develop social skills that are otherwise not acquired in the more structured classroom environment. “ The American Academy of Pediatrics<a href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/1/183" rel="nofollow">http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/1/183</a> Of course, the AAP is not alone. This 2014 policy brief from the CDC on Supporting Recess in Elementary Schools is pretty clear about their position on the subject as well. “Recess provides students with a needed break from their structured school day. It can improve children’s physical, social, and emotional well-being, and enhance learning. Recess helps children meet the goal of 60 minutes of physical activity (PA) each day, as recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services. National organizations (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics) recommend that districts provide at least 20 minutes of daily recess for all students in elementary schools.” <a href="http://www.bridgingthegapresearch.org/_asset/1d74y4/Supporting_Recess_Elementary_Schools_Oct_2014.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.bridgingthegapresearch.org/_asset/1d74y4/Supporting_Recess_Elementary_Schools_Oct_2014.pdf</a> Thank you for considering the proposed legislation. It truly would be beneficial to the young children of our state. ______________________________________________For additional information and research supporting the value of recess for young students please view the following sources. Recess and Social DevelopmentEarly Childhood News <a href="http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=39" rel="nofollow">http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=39</a> Does Better Recess Equal a Better School Day? Robert Wood Johnson Foundation <a href="http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2013/05/better-recess-better-school-day.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2013/05/better-recess-better-school-day.html</a> Recess – It’s Indespensable!The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) <a href="https://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200909/On%20Our%20Minds%20909.pdf" rel="nofollow">https://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200909/On%20Our%20Minds%20909.pdf</a> School Recess Offers Benefits to Student Well-being Stanford Report <a href="http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/february/recess-benefits-school-021115.html" rel="nofollow">http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/february/recess-benefits-school-021115.html</a>
Petition to Richard Woods, Nathan Deal, Casey Cagle
Increase Security In Georgia Schools
Today, two local schools have been affected by gun violence. My school, North Murray Highschool, had a gun threat from a student, and he was delt with accordingly. About 10 miles up the road at Dalton Highschool, a teacher had barricaded himself in a classroom after they fired shots. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but is it going to take children to be harmed for there to be changes in school security? I am calling for Georgia schools to have an increase in security, because it seems way too easy for a tradgedy to happen. Things such as metal detectors at entrances and more law enforcement presence can make a world of difference when it comes to saftey and peace of mind at school. School should be a place to learn, not a place to fear for your life. Thank you.