Reopen Schools

35 petitions

Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Dr. George Arlotto, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Dr. Karen Salmon, Bobbi Pedrick, Nilesh Kalyanaraman, MD, Robert Neall, Carol Beatty, Dr. Darryl Williams, Jeffrey Blank, Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelise, Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Dr. Patricia W. Saelens, Dr. Steven A. Lockard, Dr. Jeffrey A. Lawson, Dr. Kimberly A. Hill, Mr. W. David Bromwell, Dr. Theresa R. Alban, Barbara Baker, Dr. Sean Bulson, Dr. Michael J. Martirano, Dr Karen Couch, Dr. Jack Smith, Dr. Monica Goldson, Dr. Andrea Kane, Dr. James Smith, Dr. John Gaddis, Dr. Kelly Griffith, Dr. Boyd Michael III, Dr. Donna Hanlin, Mr. Louis Taylor, Dr. W. Robert Hair, Russell Leone

Special Education In-Person Classes for ALL Maryland IEP Students

The "discrepancy in delivery of a free and appropriate public education (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Parts A–D)" due to virtual learning is resulting in "severe consequences" and virtual learning "disproportionately affect individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities" Virtual learning is not a viable solution for our special needs students who have a range of conditions and disabilities that require substantial support and services in order to thrive and succeed.  This includes severely disabled students integrated throughout the school system who are not assigned to "Special Centers." “There are simply kids that will never, ever have that quality learning that we all desire to advance online, no matter what kind of support we provide, even if we individualize it,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said While some students on Individualized Education Plans (IEP) may be supported virtually, many like my severely disabled daughter cannot be.  The support and services provided to students under IDEA are not a luxury that can just be suspended.  These supports and services are very much an essential and critical service to our children. Far too many staff members and parents have put way too much time into IEP’s and fulfilling those IEP’s for our most vulnerable children to be left on hold and regress in their skills and abilities.  Many children will never regain lost skills and abilities and many others will never gain skills and abilities if left on hold.   We need all Maryland school districts to provide meaningful face to face instruction and related services to provide the education, supports, and services our disabled students require and are guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. We need the Maryland Department of Education, Dr. Karen Salmon to provide more specific directives to the school districts like the directive she issued to close schools so all disabled students can get the education, support, and services they require.   Montgomery Co Autism Student Hospitalized because Virtual Learning Does Not Work Richard Engel: Kids with special needs are not OK right now. Neither are parents We are calling for an option, not mandatory attendance  Urging in-person instruction, Anne Arundel parent of special education student starts petition  AACo parents call for in-person school option for special needs students Parent urges Anne Arundel County schools to resume in-person learning for students with disabilities Just to share one of the medical conditions, here is a video of my daughter showing what Rett syndrome is and some of the challenges:

Adam Wyndham
4,201 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Brian Kemp, Georgia Department of Education

Parents calling on Governor Kemp to resume in-person classes for kids with special needs

Georgia public school districts that are planning to start the upcoming 2020-2021 school year with virtual only offerings are leaving kids with Individualized Education Programs (IEP) behind by denying eligible students a free appropriate public education or FAPE. More options and alternatives need to be made available for parents and their kids with disabilities.  It doesn't make sense why day cares can stay open, but special education classes and services can't resume with appropriate safety measures. Many months of doing Zooms and virtual therapy does not really work for many children with IEPs. Not all children are alike and some kids need more than other kids do. Even under the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the state has an obligation to provide services outlined in each students individualized education plan. Many essential supports for children with significant disabilities cannot be provided virtually. These include: feeding, personal care, behavior support, supervision for elopement, hand over hand prompting. These services are required by IEPs (legal documents) but are not being provided. Districts need out of the box thinking during these “unprecedented times." By nature the needs of our students are very specialized so the one size fits all virtual solution is not appropriate. The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) considers the school system the “service provider” for school aged children with disabilities to ensure they can stay at home with their families in home and community based settings. Taking away this support makes them at risk for institutionalization as overwhelmed families lack the resources to obtain this care privately. On behalf of children and young adults between the ages of 3 and 22, enrolled in the public school system and eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, parents are asking Governor Kemp to consider opening special needs programs by signing a new executive order that will allow necessary in-person special education instruction during the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. 

Todd Hartle
3,413 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Chris Ragsdale, Jaha Howard, Randy Scamihorn, Governor Brian Kemp

Reinstate Face to Face learning option for Cobb County Schools

The purpose of this petition is to regain our rights to choose, as parents and tax payers in Cobb County, GA, to send our children to school utilizing the traditional classroom setting. On 7/10/2020, the Cobb County School Board informed the residents of Cobb County that we would have 2 options from which to choose for the beginning of the  2020-2021 school year.  The 2 options available were face to face learning and virtual learning. On 7/16/20, the Cobb County Superintendent, Chris Ragsdale, arbitrarily made the decision to eliminate the face to face learning option completely. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “We recognize that children learn best when physically present in the classroom. But children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support and other services that cannot be easily replicated online…”.  Additionally, the current AAP recommendation for screen time per day is limited to 1 hour or less.  Virtual learning would far exceed this medical recommendation.   Many families require both parents working outside of the home.  Virtual learning is not conducive to this kind of family structure as neither parent would be available to provide instruction. Some children live in abusive situations where time spent at school is their only safety and reprieve.  Many others receive their only substantial meal while at school for the day.  Still other students have special needs that only a school setting with the properly trained staff is qualified to provide.  Personally, our children are very unsettled and upset by the decision to eliminate face to face learning; after nearly 5 months, they were looking forward to returning to the classroom.   Furthermore, we pay hefty taxes for the privilege of being in one of the best school districts in the state of Georgia, with some of the best teachers.  We, as parents, whether working from home or outside of the home, are not qualified, trained, or educated in the way these teachers are and cannot provide the quality of instruction and education that the classroom setting does.  It is truly detrimental to the children's education experience and will set them back academically, emotionally, and mentally for the coming years. We strongly feel that the decision to eliminate face to face learning leaving only the  remote virtual learning choice is a one size fits all approach in which only one viewpoint is accommodated.  It simply works for only those who want it this way.  However, many others do not want virtual learning for their children due to the AAP's recommendation and the associated negative impacts to the childrens' health and well-being.  For the reasons stated above, we, the Parents, petition to regain our choice of face to face learning for the 2020-2021 school year.  

Michael Shelley
9,615 supporters