* I’m told the governor’s office has been inundated with this formulaic email, mainly from suburban moms…
I am writing you as a resident of IL with 17 year old twins who are heading into their senior year of HS in one of the large Northwest suburban high schools [Redacted].
I have carefully read the Illinois Department of Public Health Phase 4 rules that were released yesterday. Gov Pritzker indicated that children can return to school this fall.
Sure, they can , technically under these rules. But the rules are so burdensome that they make returning to school nothing like school was Pre-C19.
In a large high school, the 50+ person limit will not allow for things such as Friday night football, pep rallies, homecoming dances, band, musicals, eating with friends in the cafeteria — all of which are important for a teen’s social development — which is a critical part of their education. Even “passing periods” in the hallways will become a logistical nightmare.
Given these restrictions, it’s also becoming evident that there is no way that a high school could even have that many kids in the building at one time for purely academic learning. So that means some sort of hybrid plan of in-person vs. e-learning. I will not apologize for saying this, but anything but 100% in school learning is an unacceptable compromise for our children. E-learning was an abject failure this past spring and the thought of students continuing w/e-Learning in any capacity for this upcoming school year is unacceptable.
Our kids have already sacrificed a LOT for the greater good of society. It is time for their lives to be returned to them. All the research indicates that children are not severely impacted by this virus. So, let them go to school. They were “locked in” last spring to prevent the vulnerable in society from catching C19 so that our hospitals would not be overwhelmed. The hospitals met their goals, so let the kids get their lives back.
By keeping kids out of school, our government is making a mockery of promises that were made to society of doing our part to “flatten the curve”. I preached this loudly to my children last March and we all did our part. They now, rightly so, feel duped by our gov’t officials and feel that they’ve been lied to. I do, too.
I understand that some families might be uncomfortable sending their kids back. Perhaps they can work w/the school district for an e-learning plan. Additionally, some teachers might not feel comfortable either. Sounds harsh, but MANY people are returning to work and have to accept the risks associated with them. Why are teachers “special” in this regard?
Please remove these burdensome restrictions so that our local school districts can do “right” by our children,
President Donald Trump might want all schools to reopen their buildings this fall, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it’s too early to say what Chicago Public Schools will do, and she insisted the question of reopening must be left up to local school districts.
“This really has to be a localized decision. Candidly, I don’t put much weight into what President Trump says, particularly given his lack of leadership over the course of this pandemic, but making those kinds of decisions has to lie with the local school district, because we and they are the ones that know what’s actually happening in local circumstances,” Lightfoot said Wednesday morning.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Trump accused Democrats of plotting to keep schools closed before the November election, and threatened to “cut off funding” if schools don’t reopen in the fall.
If folks in DC were truly interested in reopening the schools, they would offer some financial and logistical assistance. But the White House does appear to be tapping into a strong sentiment from at least some parents that schools absolutely must be fully reopened.
* I did a quick search and didn’t see any July polling, but here’s one from June…
Overall, a combined 54 percent of American voters said they are somewhat uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with reopening K-12 schools for the beginning of the coming school year. Fifty-eight percent of voters said they’re uncomfortable with reopening day care centers, according to the online survey of close to 2,000 registered voters.
Forty-eight percent of voters said they were very or somewhat uncomfortable with reopening colleges and universities, while 43 percent said they were comfortable with the idea.
The survey also suggests Black voters hold some of the biggest worries about schools reopening. […]
A combined 73 percent of surveyed Black voters said they were somewhat or very uncomfortable with reopening day care centers. Forty percent of surveyed Black voters said they were very uncomfortable with reopening K-12 schools, while 27 percent said they were somewhat uncomfortable with the idea. Thirty-five percent of surveyed Black voters said they were very uncomfortable with reopening colleges and universities this fall.
* Last night…
With President Trump ramping up pressure on states and districts to return to normal school operations, many of the nation’s principals have deep misgivings that schools and districts can keep students and staff members safe when buildings reopen in the fall, according to a new poll of school leaders.
Twenty-nine percent of principals were “unsure” that they or their school district could keep students safe when schools reopen, according to a poll released Wednesday by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
And the remainder of the responders were nearly evenly split: 34.9 percent of school leaders said they were not confident they could keep students and staff safe and healthy while 35.2 percent felt confident they’d be able to do so, according to the poll.
Among those who responded to the poll, 15 percent said they were “not at all confident” that they could “preserve the health of staff and students” when buildings reopen this fall. Only 12.4 percent of respondents were “extremely confident,” while 22.8 percent were “somewhat confident.” […]
The survey of 1,450 school administrators was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday amid the calls from Trump and members of his administration to fully reopen schools.
*** UPDATE *** Elgin’s U-46 district just completed a survey of over 3,000 staff and 13,000 families. Some results…
For families, the most important assurances for return to in-person instruction:
1) Strict 6-foot social distancing and group size limits – 4,296 1 , 2,462 2 choice
2) Use of face coverings at all times even if social distancing is maintained – 2,907 1st choice, 2,099 2nd choice
3) Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces – 1,464 1st choice, 2,385 2nd choice
4) Frequent adult-supervised hand-washing or sanitizing routines - 1,675 1st choice, 2,857 2nd choice
5) Clear protocols for communicating cases if COVID-19 – 1,695 1st choice, 1,070 2nd choice
6) No sharing of objects without disinfection before use – 441 1st choice, 1,607 2nd choice
Just 32 percent supported a return to in-person learning every day for all students.