Topic

Open schools

7 petitions

Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Superintendent Vincent McHale, Closter Board of Education, NJ Governor Phil Murphy, NJ Dept. Education Acting Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan, State Sen. Holly Schepisi, Assemblyman Robert Auth, Interim Executive County Superintendent Louis DeLisio

OPEN CLOSTER SCHOOLS FIVE DAYS

Honorable New Jersey Leaders, Superintendent Vincent McHale, and Borough of Closter Board of Education representatives: We, the undersigned, insist on the following immediate modifications to the Closter School District reopening plan: The Closter School District increase classroom capacity and in-person instruction to 5 days a week for all students, now.  The Closter School District guarantee live teaching of all core academic subjects, five days a week at Tenakill Middle School, now. The Closter School district ensure in-school instruction five days a week, in the 2021-2022 academic year. Our hybrid model is substandard. Teachers spend half of an already shortened day managing elementary behavioral issues, and on-screen tech issues. Minimal learning occurs. Governor Murphy’s Reopening Plan for New Jersey requires social distancing “to the maximum extent practicable.” He writes: If schools are not able to maintain this physical distance, additional modifications should be considered. These include using physical barriers between desks and turning desks to face the same direction (rather than facing each other) or having students sit on only one side of the table, spaced apart. In fact, a new study published last week in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, suggests public schools may be able to reopen safely for in-person instruction as long as children maintain three feet of distance between them, with other mitigation measures maintained, like wearing masks. Closter’s leadership has not presented, and certainly not proceeded with any such creative approaches. In fact, offers of help from the community have been repeatedly rejected. Unlike neighboring districts, there has been neither creativity nor transparency about plans for now or the future. Our community needs an effective, forward-thinking steward. Our Board of Education has also been unwilling to move our educational model forward. We are languishing without a roadmap.  The Closter School District has had zero cases of in-school transmission, proving that any community spread does not translate to in school spread. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: “The preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection.  In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection.”  We are the ONLY district in the region that is not offering a five-day return to school this month. Our students are suffering grave academic, emotional, and psychological setbacks from isolation and remote learning, which has no pedagogical justification. Despite best efforts by many teachers, to whom we are very grateful, remote learning does not educate students nearly as effectively as in-person learning, especially students with special needs who rely on in-person school-based services. As working parents, we represent a major portion of the region’s tax base, and yet our voices are being stymied.  We now speak clearly and loudly:  Closter cannot afford the equity, health, safety, and economic consequences that will result from failing to provide a safe, in-person, full-time education to children whose families choose it.  We demand that our elected representatives, and our appointed Superintendent, make this their priority.  

Lindsay Chiat
510 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary James Peyser, Commissioner Jeffrey Riley

School Is Essential: Resume full-time in-person public education across Massachusetts

School Is Essential: A petition to resume full-time in-person public education across Massachusetts School Districts   Join us in demanding a return to full-time in-person learning in all Massachusetts Public Schools for those families who choose it.  The signatories of this letter call on Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Secretary Peyser, and Commissioner Riley to take action now to reopen public schools across the Commonwealth. We urge these state leaders to do all that you can to truly prioritize the emotional, social, physical, and educational well-being of children in Massachusetts.  The data now clearly show that remote learning is an inadequate replacement for in-person learning; that schools are not the main sources of spread; that schools can open safely; and that Massachusetts has what it needs to do so.  More recently, the Governor and his team has been vocal about the need to get children back in the classrooms, but the local response has been inconsistent and inadequate. Far too many school districts have stalled in their planning, claim they cannot implement in-person learning under the current guidelines, and are under-resourced to make the necessary planning happen. Children in public schools across the country and the globe – as well as in Massachusetts private and parochial schools – have been inside classrooms for months now. We need Massachusetts state leadership to take action that requires local districts to provide a full-time in-person education to Massachusetts students.  We ask Governor Baker to mandate the re-opening of public schools in Massachusetts for full-time in-person learning. We ask Governor Baker to issue revised guidelines that deal with the principle barriers precluding many districts from returning to in-person learning; specifically, (a) ensure districts are using the 3-6 ft range as opposed to adhering only to 6+ feet in order to get children back into classrooms; (b) clarify quarantine and “close contact” parameters, particularly in light of mask-wearing, to rectify inconsistencies with spacing guidelines; and (c) allow for waivers to current bus requirements that are logistically and financially infeasible for many districts.  We ask Governor Baker to hold districts accountable to reopening, requiring each public school to make a full return to in-person learning by April 1, 2021 at the latest. We ask Governor Baker to work with districts directly that are unable to meet guidelines and find solutions to re-open their schools to ensure that no child is deprived of an education because of a few inches or a lack of resources. Learning remotely for months or years on end not only threatens many students’ mental health and educational progress, it also will widen the opportunity gap among students in a state that claims to hold equity as a core value. Many of our most vulnerable children are experiencing active harm every day they are out of school. Long-term, the consequences of this will be devastating. Our children urgently need our leaders to prioritize them and act accordingly. SCHOOL IS ESSENTIAL.  WE DEMAND ACTION.   *After signing the petition, please consider providing your contact information to us here, to stay involved in future advocacy efforts by Bring Kids Back MA: BKBMA Google Form *)  ************************************************************* Bring Kids Back MA is a fully parent-run group with no political affiliation or financial backing. The group was started by seven moms from across MA who have donated countless volunteer hours to this effort. BKB MA has since grown to be the collective voice of thousands of parents across MA advocating to get children back into the classroom. Find us on FB at BKB MA Facebook  Follow us on Twitter @BringKidsBackMA  

Bring Kids Back MA
8,748 supporters