Return to school further delayed
Summary of 1/12/20 School Board meeting on the topic of returning Option 1 students to school:
* Original motion made was to approve the Superintendent's amended plan that was changed just a few hours prior to the meeting. There was consensus among Board members that we didn't want to give him the authority to make changes to dates that would be set. Original motion was never voted on
* I made a substitute motion to approve the plan presented to the Board last week that has been supported by over 30 local esteemed physicians. Failed 4-7
* Ms. Weems made a substitute motion to approve Dr Spence's amended plan provided a few hours before the meeting to change the start dates by 2 weeks but to remove his authority to change the dates. I made the second to approve. Motion never voted on
* Ms. Owens made another substitute motion passed to her in a note by Bev Anderson. This motion was to approve the amended plan with start dates for first group of Feb 1 and second group Feb 22; however, there are stipulations. All 5 mitigations strategies must be met AND infection rates must have a 7 day decline before students are allowed to return to school. No details were given in the motion regarding the details of how those 7 days are measured. Motion passed 6-5 (nay votes-- Weems, Rye, Manning, Hughes, Franklin).
At the last minute, just hours before the School Board meeting, the Department of Health Director changed her view and stated that she could not support the plan proposed last week because her office could not do proper COVID tracing during the current metrics. Dr Spence told us late in the night that prior to the holiday break, he asked the VB Dept of Health if there was anything that VB Schools could do to help with contact tracing. It is now weeks later and he still has not received an answer from them. I fear that this organization will continue to prevent our students from returning to school and feel that we are letting 1 person's voice drown out the advice from over 30 other physicians who have indicated that students are safer IN school and that they believe community metrics could decline with students back IN school. Additionally, Chesapeake has already begun their employee vaccinations. VB will not even begin for at least 2 more weeks (possibly more) and there must be 4 weeks between the 1st and 2nd dose. City Council in their meeting last night expressed their frustration with the VDH vaccine rollout in VB.
If you want to get students back to school contact your state legislators to let them know this is not acceptable. Legislators on both sides of the aisle have called for not approving additional funding if students do not return to in person learning
1/13/2021 07:13:26 am
It seems to be the state of politics these days, even down to the local level, to serve special interest groups (in this case the teachers) instead of the voters. This ordeal has shown Spence to be completely incompetent, sadly the school board seems to be following suit. Our kids are suffering and falling behind and the school board and superintendent don't seem to care, despite that being their job. Who are they serving, it's definitely not the children? This vote was extremely disappointing. That said, I agree that given Spence's incompetence he should not be in sole control over what happens, the elected school board should always have the final say on these large matters.
1/13/2021 09:51:08 am
I am so disappointed in this ruling. Thank you Vickie for standing up for our student's rights. It seems that common sense is lacking with some of our school board members.
1/13/2021 10:09:07 am
My name is Amelia Keck and I am a sophomore at Cox High School. The news that I could return to school in February was the first glimmer of hope my peers and I had seen in a very long time. Now I speak directly to the members of the Teacher's Union. The hope that I could return to school for the first time in over 45 weeks has been shattered. There will always be a risk. I have not received a proper education in almost a year and you need to help me return. This is unacceptable and I along with many other highschoolers are infuriated that our own teachers are not trying to help us return for the sake of our education and mental health. We have lost too many to suicide and the longer you support the motion to keep us out of school, the more there will be. The risk is worth it.
1/13/2021 12:54:27 pm
Thank you for always working so hard for our students. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated.
1/13/2021 04:47:59 pm
This is absolutely unbelievable.
Kevin Michael Bremer
1/14/2021 06:55:37 am
The consensus by the CD and medical community says get back to school. My daughters are loosing a year of their life due to no interaction with other students and ability to go to school making them be responsible for getting up, getting dressed, making their lunch... This is political and the Teachers Union which you can call it what ever but it is a Union. This is wrong!
claudette t barnes
1/16/2021 11:13:21 pm
why is there a blatant reluctance to study how private schools in VB and Norfolk are open so successfully? this nanny-state has got to go!!!!
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