Around 1:15am this morning, the VB School Board voted 8 to 3 to approve the superintendent's recommendation of online school to begin the fall. I, along with 2 other Board members, advocated for parents to have a choice for in person learning or virtual learning. I felt that due to the reduced numbers of students who would be returning to school (based on parent questionnaires), we could do it safely. I advocated for proper PPE for our staff. I also advocated for staff who have underlying medical conditions or care for family members with medical concerns to also have a choice.
During the meeting, we heard from pediatricians. One doctor stated that he has seen a 23% rise in children with depression indicators. Another pediatrician indicated that children have already died due to factors of isolation. I have spoken with medical professionals who have told me that there has been a surge of people with suicidal ideations. It is my view, after talking with medical experts that the risks of isolation in both our students and staff outweigh the risks of COVID. I also know there are a large number of teachers who have indicated they want to be back to in-person learning this fall.
We can never guarantee complete safety, even without COVID. We can minimize risk. It was my view that this could be done through smaller class sizes and proper PPE.
We must now move forward with the plan approved by the School Board. My greatest concern is that the "green" indicators for returning our 7-8th grade, and 10-12th grades back to school are much too stringent. Even a pediatrician last night said that it could take years to get into the "green" level and that COVID could be with us for many years. The Superintendent did indicate that there is flexibility to send students back to school once we are in the "yellow" levels. The plans for the different levels are attached.
I am also concerned for our students with special needs, our specialty programs that require hands on learning (VoTech, ATC) as well as our elective classes (music, art, PE, etc).
I know that we have a lot of dedicated teachers and staff who will do their best to try to make the Superintendent's plan work and I will offer my support to do all we can to help all of our students succeed.
7/29/2020 06:40:05 am
I must say I don’t understand the data. I never understood the data. There are to many questions and variables not open. The data need to be transparent and clear to base a decision on otherwise everyone picks the lines that fit there desire.
7/29/2020 07:30:42 am
All I can say is I hope people are voting in November to replace some of these school board members who voted “No” for choice.
7/29/2020 08:04:48 am
Can we get a list of who voted what way do we have a target list of whom we need to vote out?
7/29/2020 08:12:28 am
This is heartbreaking, what a complete shame for our kids... sentenced to a life on a computer screen and I’d like my taxpayer dollars back allocated for my children so I can use to hire someone to help “teach” my children... as we are a dual working family... complete BS for our children
7/29/2020 10:41:36 am
Thank you Victoria Manning, Laura Hughes and Carolyn Weems for fighting for our right to choose what is best for our children and families. Unfortunately the majority feels that our voices don't count. I would like an explanation from Dr. Spence and the board why most of our middle and high school students' needs have been completely ignored in the return to school plan.
Joan B. Achord
7/29/2020 12:26:49 pm
Folks, time to ask for a refund, or REFUSE to pay your taxes for this worthless education!! Let's face it folks, the education system has been failing us long before the VIRUS!!!
7/29/2020 12:58:06 pm
And remember, teachers are being given an option to teach from home or from the school building. There are options for teachers but not for students.
7/29/2020 01:39:32 pm
7/29/2020 03:04:30 pm
ACLJ.org/help for FREE legal help to get your education money from your state so YOU can choose where your children can go to school. Again, FREE help- look it up just to see your options
7/29/2020 07:54:28 pm
Thank you for providing this information. I am pretty upset with this plan and so are my sons. One is starting high school in the business academy. He’s very frustrated. My other son is starting at votech and was super excited. It concerns me that there has been no discussion about this program, which I’m sure can’t be done online. What of these kids. I worry most for him. Kids who choose “regular” high school seem to get the shaft as it is. Now no Votech? I worry I’m gonna have a dropout While we do all this hand wringing. Not happy!
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