public education

40 petitions

Started 3 weeks ago

Petition to St. Johns County School Board, Tim Forson, Paul Abbatinozzi, Beverly Slough, Tommy Allen, Bill Mignon, Kelly Barrera, Patrick Canan, Travis Hutson, Denise Sumerix, Cyndi Stevenson, David Shoar, Vicky Moody, Amanda Garman, Mike Strausbaugh, Terry Sapp, St. Johns County Sheriff's Office

Communication, Transparency and Parental Involvement in Decisions Regarding Our Children

To the St. Johns County School Board, Administration, Sheriff's Department and Florida State Legislature: As concerned members of the community, it has come to our attention that St. John’s County School District (SJCSD) has mandated all students to watch an “Active Shooter” video in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. Furthermore, communication from St. Johns County Sheriff's Office (SJSO) and SJCSD administration has indicated that these videos will not be made available for parents to watch nor will parents be notified when these videos will be shown. The option to be 100% involved in what our children are seeing, reading and learning is essential so that we can, as a parents and guardians of their mental, emotional AND physical health, be aware and prepared with answers, information and support as needed. We understand that these terrifying events are a new reality to all of our daily lives. We are advocates for safety, security and awareness. At the same time, please let it be known that we do not relinquish our ability to make decisions for our children to St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office or St. Johns County School District.  We object to the decisions made by SJCSD and SJSO for the following reasons: 1. The videos are not a requirement of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.2. Parents must have the opportunity to decide whether the videos are beneficial to their children.3. It is unacceptable to violate the trust between parent and child. By refusing parents the opportunity to pre-screen the videos you are:a. Undermining and devaluing the parents’ innate knowledge of their children and ability to choose what is best for them,b. Fostering a sense of distrust (encouraging the keeping of secrets) between child and parent which is, according to The Redwoods Institute, a grooming tactic for child abuse,c. Preventing parents from reinforcing important safety protocols at home.4. We believe that you can accomplish our shared goal of keeping our children safe without the potential impact of these videos. We request modification to policies on this matter immediately by:1. Calling for a public hearing to discuss current policies and necessary changes. This meeting must invite parents, teachers, child psychiatrists, child development specialists and concerned members of the community. 2. Providing parents the opportunity to screen the videos prior to showing them to children.  3. Providing parents the opportunity to opt their child out of viewing videos.  4. Providing alternative methods of preparation for children. These methods must be approved by parents, teachers, child psychiatrists, child development specialists and concerned members of the community. Thank you for your prompt attention. As members of the community, tax payers and professionals, it’s important that we remember that we all work together, for each other and for the good of the whole. Decisions regarding our children cannot be made unilaterally and without insight from parents. We request the immediate opportunity to enact change.  

Danielle Gustafson
259 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Scott Schmerelson, George McKenna, Monica Garcia, Nick Melvoin, Ref Rodriguez, Kelly Gonez, Richard Vladovic

Stop Granada Hills Charter H.S. From Discouraging the Enrollment of Special Ed Students

According to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Charter School Division (CSD), “requesting a copy of a student’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) or information contained in a student’s IEP during the pre-admission stage creates an inference...that the charter school may be using this information to ‘counsel out’ or otherwise discourage students with disabilities from seeking admission” For this reason, Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) charter includes a statement that they “shall not request or require submission of a student’s IEP, 504 Plan, or any other record or related information prior to admission” (emphasis mine). Despite this prohibition, the school’s Enrollment For Incoming Students, enrollment entry page and New Student Information page on the GHCHS website still asks parents to submit IEP and 504 plans. The LAUSD CSD was notified on March 12, 2017, about these violations of the school’s charter but did not force them to comply. The School Board was made aware of this lack of action on June 13, 2017. Over two months later, GHCHS has not been forced to make the appropriate changes. We believe in the importance of giving equal access to all educational opportunities and demand that the LAUSD School Board do the same. Please pass the following resolution which has been submitted for your consideration. Resolution: Holding GHCHS Accountable to Their Charter Whereas, Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) is authorized through the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD); Whereas, “the charter authorizing entity is responsible for ensuring the charter school operates in compliance with all applicable laws and terms of its charter”; Whereas, the GHCHS charter states that the school “shall not request or require submission of a student’s IEP, 504 Plan, or any other record or related information prior to admission, participation in any admissions or attendance lottery, or pre-enrollment event or process, or as a condition of admission or enrollment”; Whereas, the LAUSD Charter School Division’s document entitled “Charter Schools’ Pre- and Post-Lottery Enrollment Forms Admissions Requirements and Materials” states that “requesting a copy of a student’s IEP or information contained in a student’s IEP during the pre-admission stage creates an inference...that the charter school may be using this information to ‘counsel out’ or otherwise discourage students with disabilities from seeking admission”; Whereas, as of August 24, 2017, the web page entitled Enrollment For Incoming Students states that “If applicable, parents who provide 504 or IEP documentation can help GHCHS ensure continuity of services” Whereas, as of August 24, 2017, the enrollment entry page and the New Student Information page on the GHCHS website states that “504 and IEP documents are not required to enroll. However, providing these documents will assist GHCHS in providing a continuity of services”; Whereas, the New Student Information page on the GHCHS website states that it is “subject to review and does not guarantee enrollment”, making it clear that it is a pre-enrollment event; Whereas, in 2012, students with special needs compromised 6% of GHCHS’ student population compared to the nearest LAUSD school, Northridge Academy High School, with 14%.  In addition, the average for the state of California is 11.5%. Whereas, federal and state funding for special education is provided based on the total number of students and is not calculated based on the number of actual students receiving these services. Resolved, that the CSD is directed to immediately issue a Notice to Cure to GHCHS directing them to remove any requests for information not permitted by the law and prohibited  by their own charter, including the current requests for a student's IEP or 504 Plan; Resolved, that, if the issues contained in the Notice to Cure are not resolved within 30 days, the CSD is directed to issue a Notice of Violation; Resolved, that the Independent Auditor is directed to calculate the cost borne by the District due to GHCHS not having a proportional amount of students with special education needs during the time that their enrollment forms were not in compliance with their charter; Resolved, that upon completion of the Independent Auditor’s report, the General Council’s office is directed to present a plan to the Board designating how they will recover these costs from GHCHS and other charters with similar disparities; Resolved, that the CSD is directed to perform an analysis of each charter school under its jurisdiction to ensure that their enrollment and admission requirements are in compliance with all applicable laws, District rules and the terms of their charter; Resolved, that the results of the above analysis will be published in a report that is provided on the CSD’s web pages; Resolved, that the Superintendent is directed to provide a report at each Board meeting on the status of satisfying the requirements of this resolution until the Superintendent is able to confirm that all requirements have been fulfilled.    

Carl Petersen
320 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to The Inclusive Play Project

Support NEEDED playground updates at Northern Shores Elementary

We need your help!  We intend to use this petition in our discussion with community leaders and the School Board to show that people recognize the value of inclusion and want updated and improved play spaces for their community.  Please sign this petition and share with your friends.  The Inclusive Play Project is a community group whose mission it is to raise awareness and advocate for the need, and the benefits of Universally Designed play spaces where everyone can easily access play, regardless of age or ability, and enjoy the lifelong developmental, physical and social benefits of inclusion. For our first project, we are partnering with The Northern Shores PTA and requesting approval from the Suffolk School Board to update the existing playground at Northern Shores Elementary, in Northern Suffolk.   We have been working closely with experts and community members to develop an INITIAL design for this site, taking into consideration the size, space and needs of the school and surrounding community.  The updated playground would replace the current playground and reside within the same footprint of the current playground to ensure it does not interfere with any future expansion to the school building. The playground updates focus on Universal Design, addressing barriers for those with physical disabilities and also including design considerations for children with learning disabilities, sensory processing disorders, Autism, Down Syndrome and their “typically developing” peers.  So everyone can have access to, and play in, the same space.  The majority of the current playground is original (making it 22 years old) and will soon need to be replaced.  In addition to its deteriorating state, the current playground is unable to handle the volume of students that need to be able to safely and comfortably access the space, which can be up to 300 students at the same time. Imagine the impact it could have if we were able to give 900 children access to, and regular use of, an environment designed to promote equality, acceptance, independence and social interaction between children of all abilities.  Now, imagine what lessons we will be teaching them if we don’t. For more information about The Inclusive Play Project (including questions, comments, or if you are interested in getting involved), please contact Meg Diggs at

The Inclusive Play Project
291 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Frank Redente, Mayor Toni Harp, Makayla Dawkins, Dr. Edward Joyner, Darnell Goldson, Nico Rivera, Jamell Cotto, Dr. Tamiko Jackson-McArthur, Joseph Rodriguez, Dr. Carol Birks

Stop the Layoffs and Reassignments of NHPS Librarians

New Haven Public School's Superintendent, Dr. Carol Birks, announced that almost 40% of the district's school librarians will be laid off or reassigned as classroom teachers. Those school librarians who will remain will be split amongst the schools. This means that most schools will only have a part-time librarian. Some schools may not have a librarian at all.  These cuts are a "solution" to budget crisis New Haven is experiencing. New Haven boasts being "KIDS FIRST", however, cutting school librarians will negatively affect NHPS students. There are over 21 state studies that confirm that "school librarians and school libraries support students in academic achievement, lifelong learning, 21st-century skills, and reading" (Kachel, 2011). One such study indicates that the presence of a qualified school librarian can make a tremendous difference in reading achievement. This difference ranges from eight percent for high schools to 35 percent for elementary schools (Rodney, 2003).  New Haven's students should not be the victims of overspending. Their education, opportunities, and well-being should not be sacrificed for the sake of money. Please sign the petition and attend the Board meeting August 13 and let the Board of Education and Dr. Birks know that NHPS students come FIRST.   Kachel, Debra E. 2011. School Library Research Summarized: A GraduateClass Project. Mansfield University. Rodney, Marcia J., Keith Curry Lance, and Christine Hamilton-Pennell. 2003.The Impact of Michigan School Libraries on Academic Achievement:Kids Who Have Libraries Succeed. Lansing, MI: Library of Michigan.

Lauren O'Brien
564 supporters