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The Wake County Board of Education on Tuesday discussed school calendars for the 2020-21 school year based on new legislation approved by lawmakers in late April. Watch the discussion.

They are expected to vote on the calendars on June 2. 

Apart from year-round calendars, these proposed calendars would be similar to those previously approved by the school board, including the same Winter and Spring breaks. Calendars had to be adjusted to include the five days of remote learning mandated by recent state law. 

We will notify you again when calendars have been officially approved by the board.

We invite you to share feedback and questions about the proposed calendars in the thread that applies to you and your child. 

The Wake County Board of Education on Tuesday discussed school calendars for the 2020-21 school year based on new legislation approved by lawmakers in late April. Watch the discussion.

A recent state law includes several mandates that we must follow:

• Traditional Calendar First Day: Aug. 17, 2020; Last Day: June 10, 2020 

• We must add 5 Remote Learning (RL) days to all calendars.

• We must meet a minimum of 1,025 instructional hours in a year that includes the 5 Remote Learning days.

• We must add 5 individually separate and distinct full in-person instructional days that we are referring as Session Law days.

These provisions have created some constraints. For example, traditional calendar teachers will have five fewer teacher workdays this year under this proposal to allow for the five required in-person instruction days known as the Session Law days.

We also are proposing two days off for teachers and students designated as Calendar Out (C) days. 

Full proposed calendar.

The school board expects to approve 2020-21 calendars on June 2.

Please share your feedback about this proposed calendar below.

42 Responses

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Testra Driver 4 months ago

Have you considered adding a few minutes to each instructional day in order to have enough hours reclaim some of the teacher work days, as well as help with matching up the bus schedules for the year round schools? It appears traditional schools have about 10 more school days than year round, so this would make the schedules more equitable as well as possibly add some banked time in case of inclement weather.

4 Votes
 
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Dionne Glast 4 months ago

I would like to understand why Remote Learning isn't being implemented at the beginning of school year, particularly since there are uncertainties around Covid19

9 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 4 months ago

Hi Dionne. Matt Dees here in WCPSS Communications. That is a specific requirement in the recent state law.

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Elaine Smith 4 months ago

It seems unfair to require teachers to have additional instructional days with neither increased pay nor additional time to prepare — in fact they have 5 fewer workdays! For the remote learning days, I hope they are at least able to work from home so they can help their own kids rather than have to take leave or pay someone else to provide remote learning for them. If not, can we provide teachers with additional leave days to cover this? We are asking for teacher burnout and churn.....

7 Votes
 
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Elaine Smith 4 months ago

Will remote learning days include hard copy materials provided by the teachers, instead of just electronic resources and lessons? The materials could be passed out and collected at school. Our kids don’t need to stare at screens any more! It’s bad for their brains and eyes.

7 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 4 months ago

Hi Elaine. Matt Dees here in WCPSS Communications. Thank you for this feedback. Staff and board members are reviewing this forum, so we appreciate the input. We do not know exactly what form Remote Learning will take in 2020-21 but we are working on that now. We are required to submit a Remote Learning plan to the state by July 20, which will contain more detail.

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Dale Brown 4 months ago

This feels really unfair to teachers to ask them to start the academic year with only TWO planning days, especially when they are ending this academic year without more time in the classrooms already. You should pay the teachers for their planning time to get ready for our students. They will either work a LOT on their own time, or be ill prepared to start the year. There hasn't been any training for teachers to learn to be online teachers so training in this area should be paid days in addition to their regular planning days. You are doing our students and teachers a disservice by not properly training teachers OR giving them enough planning days. This is incredibly short sighted on the part of WCPSS. Give teachers training and planning days so they can be prepared to teach our students. Students and teachers are already struggling; why do more harm and short-change both? Two planning days and zero training is irresponsible.

4 Votes
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Kameron Fulp 4 months ago

Teachers DEFINITELY need more time to prepare and to have Teacher Workdays as well. They already have to do much of their work at home because they do not get the necessary planning time. To have them rush to get prepared is a diservice to both them and the to the children they will be teaching.

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Matt Dees admin 4 months ago

Hi Dale. Matt Dees here with WCPSS Communications. We are looking at adding a third teacher workday prior to the start of traditional calendar school. Unfortunately we are limited in the number of workdays available over the course of the year. That's because we are having to propose reducing teacher workdays by five, from 17 to 12, because of the state requirement to add five additional in-person instructional days.

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Cyndi Soter ONeil 4 months ago
  1. I realize that the NCGA isn't providing teacher salaries for additional workdays, which puts WCPSS in a bind, but I hate for teachers and administrators to have to start the year with only two workdays to prepare. Given the amount of districtwide training that might be required to manage potential online learning or hybrid instruction models, that seems truly inadequate.

  2. What consideration will be made for students whose family schedules will prevent them from being at school the week of Aug. 17, given long-standing plans made according to the previously approved calendar? Any chance for virtual classes that week to allow access for students who are traveling? Seems like using the five remote learning days for that first week could be a great way to meet the RL requirement, give teachers and students a chance to catch up/set up for the new year, and provide access regardless of circumstance.

  3. What consideration will be made for students who are at greater risk or whose family members are at greater risk from exposure to the virus? Will they have the option to remain enrolled but access courses virtually?

  4. If/when schools are required to close campus and switch to remote learning because of outbreaks or concerns about the virus, will schools be in a position to pivot quickly into online instruction? And will those days count as full school days, regardless of the "seat time" hours? Would those days then replace any later scheduled RL days on the calendar, converting previously scheduled RL days into on-campus days when possible?

8 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 4 months ago

Hi Cyndi. Matt Dees here with WCPSS Communications. Will try to answer at least some of your questions. 1. We are looking at adding a third teacher workday prior to the start of traditional calendar school. Unfortunately we are limited because their workdays are proposed to be reduced by five because of the state requirement to add five additional in-person instructional days. 2. The legislature specifically prohibited the legislature from scheduling remote learning the first week of school. 3. We are planning now for return to school, and of course protecting health and safety is the top priority. We know it is critical we share information about this as soon as possible. 4. Those are good questions. We are developing a Remote Learning plan that must be submitted to the state by July 20. The plan will include how we will address gaps in technology access. During this initial phase of Remote Learning we have made great strides in expanding access to devices and the Internet. We also are hopeful that these recent weeks of Remote Learning will make any such transition smoother.

1 Vote
 
 
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Traci Lamar 4 months ago

Has consideration been given to parent schedules? Remote learning days will create hardship for families with dual working parents, some of us have jobs that make taking days off challenging. If a stay at home order is in place, that resolves the concern, but if not this becomes an arbitrarily imposed hardship. Any notion parents can just work from home and supervise remote learning is flawed, online learning does not fit the learning styles of many children so much parent support is needed.

5 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 4 months ago

Hi Traci. Matt Dees here in WCPSS Communications. We certainly understand your concern. The 5 Remote Learning days are a requirement of the state law, so we simply don't have any flexibility in that regard.

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Maria Dorazio 4 months ago

What is the science based plan for preventing the spread of Covid 19 in schools? Masks? Frequent handwashing? Social distancing?Temperature testing?Covid 19 tests? Antibody tests? Ability to contact trace and isolate cases that pop up? Enhanced cleaning of the school? Is there money for any of that?

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to provide students who don’t have them with at home resources (computers) so that we can keep distance learning until we can reopen safely?

Kids might have a low fatality rate but they can certainly transmit the virus back home to their families and the community in general, including vulnerable people in danger of dying should they get this virus. Opening schools could explode the virus cases and overwhelm our hospitals.

4 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 4 months ago

Hi Maria. Matt Dees here in WCPSS Communications. This is good feedback. We are currently working on the plan for reopening schools, which includes considering safety measures. We don't have answers just yet, but we understand that it's critical to share this information as soon as possible, and we are committed to doing that.

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Maria Dorazio 4 months ago

Thanks Matt. Don't forget to include outdoor learning in your discussions. There are many schools, like my son's- Joyner Elementary, that have a public park right next door. Spreading out is much easier outdoors. Weather can be an issue but there are many ways to deal with that, umbrellas, raincoats, plenty of water for hot days, heavy coats for winter, etc. Thanks for all your hard work to get our kids back to school safely!

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GWTH Brown 4 months ago

How will it work for educators that have children on different calendars, especially if staggering children are up for consideration---would those educators be able to complete remote learning at home with their children that are on a staggering schedule? Will educators be required to take leave and receive no pay to assist their own children during the remote learning days? Parents that are essentially workers will have difficulty finding a place for their child---it defeats that purpose of maintaining safe schools because they will be probably put their children in a camp that may not even help with remote learning, exposing them to more germs that they can bring back to the school.

2 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 4 months ago

Hi there. Matt Dees with WCPSS Communications. We are still working through what Remote Learning will entail for staff members. A Remote Learning Plan, covering all facets of how we plan to deliver remote instruction, is due to the state by July 20.

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Julie Bullock 4 months ago

We thank WCPS for the opportunity to comment on the proposed calendars for 2020-21. In general, the approach appears overly optimistic with regard to the amount of time scheduled and the realities that will be COVID-19 in the fall (combined with seasonal flu).

Our comments are the following: 1) Understood that SL is mandated by the state, but also has imposes on families that have been already quite imposed upon this spring and summer. Our children will not be returning to campus this week due to a few reasons; the risk of COVID likely still will be high and return to school will be too risky, and we already had a vacation planned. This is the only vacation we will (hopefully) still be able to take in 2020. We would participate in SL if it was a RL week, but curiously, the law mandated that RL could not start until Aug 24th.

2) RL shouldn’t be randomly scheduled. RL should be viewed as an ease-in plan to the year or a backup plan in case of emergency. The kids should be in school unless there is a statewide health risk that precludes them from being at school. If the risk of COVID drops there is no justified reason to make children learn at home at random points throughout the year. A RL day is a day parents will have to take off of work to be home with the children. It is the same as any other day off on the school calendar except we will be teaching our kids that day. Instead of scheduling RL days WCPS and schools should have a RL transition plan that outlines the steps to switch to RL quickly so that we do not experience the delays that we had the spring of 2020. This means all children need access to WiFi, all children need computer equipment, and teachers will need to be able to transition online the current curriculum. The county needs to have a plan to decide when/what will trigger RL.

3) WCPS should come up with a system that allows for children to learn in-person and RL at the same time. This will allow for reduced infection rates from kids who have been exposed or are sick by encouraging them to stay home and stay on track whilst not infecting others. Our children are kids of an ER doctor so this is a true concern for our family and we are not sure how or when it will be safe for our kids to return to school. This will also assist with social distancing if we are mandated to have smaller class sizes. An option to RL or (ideally) video stream classes for kids who need to be at home would be ideal and forward thinking given this new normal.

4) Scheduled teacher workdays on Tuesday Nov 3, Wednesday May 13. Days off in the middle of the week; you are generally expecting student attendance to drop on Monday Nov 2 or remainder of the week for the May 13th date. Noting that in November there is only one week that month where children will be attending school M-F. Hap-hazard schedules are very difficult for kids to stay on track and for dual-working parents to manage. Shift teacher workdays to M or F’s or tag them onto holidays already scheduled so there is less disruption to the flow of the school week.

5 Votes
 
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Testra Driver 4 months ago

I’m curious as to why “Calendar Out” days were created rather than designating these teacher work days since it seems teachers are concerned about losing teacher work days. Or make those the RL day’s and give teachers 2 of their original work days back.

2 Votes
 
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Parent wcpss 4 months ago

The current remote learning was good from a materials stand point however, parents had to teach the kids all these lessons, especially for the kids who are in elementary and not yet self sufficient to just watch the videos or take the teacher given materials and learn by themselves is nearly impossible. This has impacted parents work. If it is remote learning then teachers should conduct remote/online classes for each subject and have live online teaching just as in class teaching. It is not fair that the parents have to sit and teach the kids. Remote learning has been handing over materials and thats it for elementary age kids. For Middle schoolers there have been some live classes but the work given does not justify the amount of time the teachers are actually teaching. So all in all the parents and students are doing a ton of work. In all honesty, parents are working round the clock to juggle teaching and working or some have taken a hit on their work or business to support the child. There is no grading for the remote learning work but if left untaught the child will loose the continuity in education and miss the concepts required to be learnt. Parents are not getting paid to teach and putting aside work to teach kids comes with a cost. If at all another outbreak happens of the virus and the stay at home orders go in place then the current remote learning approach needs to be improvised with active teacher classes and not just giving materials. Thank you for giving this forum to express hardships and viewpoints and hope that these will be considered.

4 Votes
 
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Erin de Freitas 4 months ago

What is the plan to keep kids safe from the virus? The recent CDC recommendations say in person learning places kids in a high risk category. With extreme mitigation (including kids 6 feet apart) they would fall into the “medium” risk category. How is wcpss going to fit entire classes of kids into a room and maintain 6 feet separation? Wcpss should offer an all online option to families with risk factors and who want to continue to be safer at home. This would free up space in the physical classrooms thus making everyone safer. Also, the recommendations are not feasible for elementary age kids. The current CDC recommendations encourage organizations to take into account the rate of community spread when planning openings. Wake County has one of the highest rates of community spread in NC.

4 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 4 months ago

Hi Erin. This is Matt Dees from WCPSS Communications. We are currently working on the plan for reopening schools, and we are reviewing multiple options to ensure schools meet state health guidelines. We understand that it's critical to share this information as soon as possible, and we are committed to doing that.

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Ruth DiGiovanni 4 months ago

Is there any chance the SL start date could remain? Also echo the concern mentioned earlier about scheduling a WD on random day Nov 3 Tues and May 13 Thur, can these not be amended to align more with end or beginning of week or closer to a scheuled holiday?

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Scott Lemke 4 months ago

Hi Ruth, Tuesday November 3 is Election Day. As many schools are used as polling locations, it makes sense to not have school in session that day. I don’t know about May 13.

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Stephan Pageau 4 months ago

It seems that this calendar has minor tweaks from the 2019 calendar to say that the county is responding to the crisis, nothing truly novel here. There was a lot of money invested in remote learning so why not considering that a reality for Q1 and Q2? Practice makes perfect. Remote learning worked quite well for my child who is in high school, with live classes through Google classroom. I know that kids in elementary school and beginning of middle school probably have a tougher time staying focused during remote learning sessions... So one idea could be to have older kids in remote learning sessions while having younger kids in the classrooms; continuing with this scheme, middle schools and high schools could be reclaimed to teach younger kids and thus provide additional space to kids to ensure social distancing is achieved. I don't see anything proposed that guarantees kids' safety. It is business as usual with 100% occupancy! what a shame. And what about buses, same ole thing? I just declined the bus for my child, one less place for her to go and catch the virus... Is anyone entering school going to receive a temperature check? Probably not, costs too much, right? So while the rest of the adults won't gather in large groups and would get enhanced checks in work places, it is ok for kids to do so? And bring the virus back home? The remote learning days are a joke, is that when state officials expect the virus to show up? The virus will show up for sure and it will be on its own timeline. When this happens, what will be next? Close schools where outbreaks occur or close all schools? this will lead to unbelievable disruption for kids. Instead of taking such chances with bad odds of success to begin with, why not be remote as I have already stated? It will happen anyways, eventually, but after casualties unfortunately. I am sure there are parents such as I who aren't comfortable sending their kids to overcrowded schools while no vaccine is available; how are these parents accommodated in any way? Do they have no choice but fear daily that they are sending their kids in arms' way? A parent is never supposed to be ok with that, why now? Odds of problems are small, like flu or car accident... I have heard this before but the coronavirus will be the largest contributor to issues in the upcoming year. Let's talk about other types of vaccinations that some parents neglected to give to their kids during the crisis... Is the county going to require an up-to-date vaccination card before starting the school year? The county officials seems so unprepared to give something back to lawmakers by early June... I see very little overall, with no novelty in ideas and planning, no backup plans. I guess it is fly by the seat of your pants like the rest of this country's officials! Sad. So please tell me what the consequence is for having a kid stay home and miss school for 1 year? This should be allowed. Or you could even offer a choice of face-to-face while others get the information remotely, live or pre-recorded. Again, one more idea that one could think of and discuss...

1 Vote
 
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Rachel Lehman 4 months ago

I would like to see remote learning (RL) including video teaching and online assignments available during the 2020-2021 school year for all core subjects for students. If we consider the necessary quarantine times for people who are ill with symptoms of COVID-19 AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS, students will need access to RL as the student may need to be out of school for 14+ days at a time. Students may also need to stay home more often with mild symptoms (cough, congestion) due to COVID-19 concerns when they may have gone to school with these symptoms in the past. If RL learning is available to all students throughout the year, students will be more likely to stay at home while ill or when a family member is ill because they will have access to the necessary learning materials for minimally their core subjects. If not already addressed, WCPSS will need to address their absence policy for students so that staying home to prevent the spread of disease does not negatively affect students.

4 Votes
 
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Anna Stauff 4 months ago

Please do not do teacher workdays mid-week or Remote Learning days that are mid-week. It makes it harder on families with two working parents. If we can do these on a Friday or a Monday (and not two in a row) it will ease the burden on many of us. Additionally having workdays on a Friday or Monday allow for us to have better family time such as a quick trip to the beach or mountains or just a longer break. Mid-week days off do nothing beneficial for the children or parents. They just get us off schedule and make the rest of the week harder to align with.

Also curious whether remote learning will be offered as an extended option in general for families who are not confident with WCPSS's proposals to keep the children safe when they are slated to return. Will there be any sort of "online only" option for those families? And will you work with your community partners such as the Y or Parks and Rec to see about accomodating RL days from their facilities to allow parents who need to work to be able to do so rather than burning through 5 days of PTO?

1 Vote
 
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Anna Stauff 4 months ago

Additional comment from a Single Track YR mom here. We chose our school because of the YR calendar and were forced to the single track against our desire last year. To be forced to a traditional calendar again takes away what we love about the year round environment, namely more frequent, longer breaks. This allows us to visit family in another state, take family trips in the off season and spread out any PTO days we need to take with work. Those of us who chose it chose it because it matches our family's lifestyle. If not for the calendar we would not have chosen our school. Will we be able to transfer back to base schools if this is implemented??

3 Votes
 
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Lori Myers 4 months ago

What about parents who have set up custody agreements around a year round schedule? Will they be allowed to transfer to another year round school? My ex husband and I were granted a year round school from the board of education 2 years ago which is how we were placed at the single track school. If it moves to traditional this will cause us to need to either break our coparenting agreement based around the school schedule, pay to create a new coparenting agreement, or change schools.

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Kim Hargrove 4 months ago

For some parents like myself, this new conversion to traditional schedule works out well since I have one son on traditional and another on Year Round/Track 4. We will adjust to the new schedule just fine.

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Sabrina Sine 4 months ago

This is all smoke and mirrors. The BOE have been discussing changing the year-round back to traditional calendar for the past few years. They have been giving the exact same reasons the parents back in 2006/2007 used when those parents didn’t want to change from traditional to year-round. Now, the BOE has the coronavirus and subsequent shutdown as the perfect excuse to make these changes. Obviously, it works in their favor to do this experiment with a single track YR school. They will use the data from the 2020/2021 school year to justify pushing for these changes permanently. There are many avenues they could take to not have to make these changes: remote learning (but, let’s do actual RL and not just give busy work, like at my son’s school); extending days by a couple of minutes; cutting some days off of trackout; etc. Why was there a proposed 20/21 calendar sent to families, if that wasn’t the direction the BOE wanted to go?

4 Votes
 
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Emily Brock 4 months ago

The biggest reason I love our school is because of the year round schedule. I think it is great for the children for so many reasons. I am from another state where this is not an option. I think all schools should be year round!! It makes it great for visiting family from out of state as well. Most importantly I feel the kids learn better on this schedule. Not to mention the affect this will take on work schedules for the parents as well. These poor kids have already been through so much PLEASE DO NOT change Rand Rd schedule, PLEASE!!!

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Brian Marsh 4 months ago

We are at Vance on track 4 and already have plans made for track out times. Adding the extra 15mins to the school day to make up the late 2 week start time is a good idea and would keep us on track for what we were doing. As said before the BOE has been trying for years to make schools go to traditional and this as an excuse to force. Do not change Vance to a multi trackout either. As we have kids in differant grades. And this makes it hard to schedule anything.

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Brighid Uddyback 4 months ago

I am completely against this and also fear it's an excuse to phase out year round schedules. I think it is a huge mistake and will negatively affect the students. They have lost months of regular in classroom education and it will take time for them to readjust to being in the actual school. Those track outs they have come to rely on are going to be needed even more as they are going to need the breaks. What happened to just shortening the first two track outs? Track outs allow the students a chance to rest while still retaining everything they have been learning, and to deep clean the schools. I also would be fine with an extra 15 min added to each day. Anything but what is being proposed!

2 Votes
 
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Regina Ali 4 months ago

Please keep our schools with a year round option. We specifically elected this format as it works better for our family. I prefer a school schedule that doesn't have long break in the middle of summer. I believe it is better to keep the kids regularly engaged in school and it is more compatible with the our work schedules to be able to plan a family vacation to occur sometime other than June- August. Forcing people to have to choose between extended family experiences at other times of the year and school attendance is a shortcoming for the community and school's alike.

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Jamie KT 4 months ago

I want to say thank you to board member Bill Fletcher for speaking up for concerned families and staff at today's board meeting concerning the dangers of the legislature's demands that students gather en masse at the beginning of the school year.

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Lorie Kirby 4 months ago

I have a child that was on a traditional calendar until we moved last year. We are now on the single track 4 calendar. Both of us were deemed essential workers during the crisis and it was extremely hard for us to manage RL, daycare and working full time. I think the move to the traditional calendar is a good one because it helps working parents who can't be home a lot. I'm not a fan of the RL due to hectic work schedules but I do understand why it was necessary. I hope in the future that a better way of RL can be arranged especially for the elementary kids. Maybe more multiple choice answers instead of having to use text boxes or trying to upload images not everyone has the time or equipment to do some of the projects the teachers asked for.

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EP Hernandez 4 months ago

I urge the board to consider a system of three days on- three days off. In a classroom of 25 kids, bring in 12 kids for three days. Seat them 6 feet apart. Instruction should move more efficiently with this small number. Day four, the classrooms and common spaces are cleaned/sanitized. Day five-seven, the next group of 13 kids comes in for classes. When they leave, the school is cleaned again. Offer homework for the four days of the week the kids are not in school. It will also be easier to track and isolate any Covid19 outbreaks with this system. We need to benchmark innovative ideas being used in schools around the world right now.

For what it’s worth, in Namibia, where we used to live, schools don’t offer bus transportation or cafeterias. Parents drop their children off at 7:00 am on their way to work and pick them up on their lunch breaks at 1:00 pm, and then the school day is done. They do this for financial reasons, but this model is worth considering, because it eliminates time riding in buses and eating in the cafeteria. These are situations where social distancing is difficult to maintain and germs are easily spread. I realize our schools traditionally offered after-school care, and I think that could still be possible in both of these proposals.

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Minhgyuk kim 4 months ago
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Minhgyuk kim 4 months ago
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