public schools

81 petitions

Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Des Moines public school board, Thomas Ahart

Stop early elementary school start times in Des Moines public schools

The short version DMPS, CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics all agree children learn better after 8:10 am DMPS polled the community the last two years about the change of school hours- this year a smaller part of the community responded to the change and they were less favorable The change polled was 7:50 but the actual change is 7:30 Inexplicably contrary to their own data and in the face of weakening support the district moved ahead with the change Other districts have attempted to adopt the same bad policy but changed course when confronted by parents Parents understand not only will this change cause hardships but hurt children the duration of their elementary education Some teachers are afraid to speak against this policy out of fear of retaliation Long version I’m a board member on the Greenwood Elementary School PTA. I’m writing you today to network as parents and teachers to bring an important issue before you - the change to elementary school hours proposed for next school year. In speaking with fellow parents and teachers, many have expressed that the change to elementary school hours will create a hardship on their family. More important than scheduling hardships and expenses associated with this change, is the negative impact to the learning of our children. There is a large body of evidence from the Center for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, and many others, that all say that children learn best when classes begin 8:10 or later. While young children might be able to fall asleep more easily at night, many of them do not have the option based on family scheduling, meaning that many elementary children in Des Moines will lose an hour or more of sleep on all school days. This will hurt both their physical well-being and their capacity for academic achievement. DMPS itself made the case during the survey period that students learn better when they start school later – the body of scientific evidence supports this – however, instead of having that data drive them to the right decision, they decided to pick middle and high school students as winners and elementary school students and their families as acceptable collateral damage. Nationally, as public schools face tightening budgets, many districts are looking at similar schedules. Boston Public Schools attempted a very similar schedule that DMPS is proposing, based on a bussing algorithm from Harvard University – the district would save money on transportation but many children would lose hours of sleep, time with their families, and experience adverse academic outcomes. After parent outcry, Boston Public Schools reversed course. This year, the state of California attempted to ban classes beginning before 8:30am. According to the data published by DMPS about 2,000 fewer families participated in the survey this year as compared to last year-fewer families are in favor of the change this year than last year. Unfortunately, our most vulnerable students will bear the weight of this bad policy. The parents of at-risk children more often work in industries that have less flexibility to adapt to this change of up to 75 minutes. This change hurts elementary school families in several ways: children will lose sleep, children will be at school during hours that they are proven to be less likely to succeed, more parents will need before/after care-more expenses, in families where those expenses cannot be absorbed many children will go unsupervised – children as young as 5 years old. I’m asking you to please help me stop this bad policy. As parents of elementary students ask yourself if your children are irritable, wild, or in the best position to learn when they are sleepy. Raise your voice with me at the School Board meeting February 6th and every meeting thereafter, together we can roll back this policy before our youngest and most vulnerable children suffer. 

Nathaniel Herron
1,003 supporters
Started 4 weeks ago

Petition to Charles County Commissioners, Kimberly Hill, Peter F. Murphy, Bobby Rucci, Debra Davis Esq., Amanda Stewart, Ken Robinson, Sheriff Troy Berry

Place full-time resource officers in all Charles County Public Schools

We protect our politicians, judges, and banks with armed officers, but we do not offer the same to the most defenseless members of our county, our children.  Currently, the students of Charles County Public Schools are unequally protected.  Our elementary population is the most vulnerable and least protected.  To date, at least twenty-two of the public schools in Charles County are lacking a permanently assigned, armed resource officer.  In response to the recent shooting at Great Mills High School, Superintendent of Charles County Public Schools, Kimberly Hill issued a statement via email.  The following is a direct quote from that email: “Our school resource officers were in our schools today performing their normal duties, which includes ensuring our schools are safe and secure for students and staff. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office also increased patrols around our elementary schools today by encouraging officers to ride through the parking lots when they are in the neighborhood." Attempting to pacify parents by telling them that "officers have been encouraged to ride through the parking lots of our elementary schools when they are in the neighborhood" is insulting and unacceptable!  Tell our county commissioners, Superintendent of Charles County Public Schools, Kimberly Hill, and Sheriff Troy Berry that we demand better for our children.  Tell them that we want every school to have a permanently assigned, armed resource officer immediately.  Now is the time to make your voices heard, no longer will we settle for weak security measures intended to pacify us.  Protect ALL of our children equally. Secure our schools now! Please be sure to sign AND share this petition.  

L Ann Bradshaw
170 supporters