“Our greatest concern is regarding equity. We want to ensure that decisions being made are considering all children and staff, not just those who have economic privilege to choose a home-based learning program or work online,” the opening statement in the petition said.
The petition’s concerns are based on three components:
Risks to public health
Student learning and thriving
“Our priority is that each community member’s health be protected and that each person has the ability to make the safest decision for themselves and their family,” the petition said.
In an attempt to increase the equity and safety of every student, the petition lists six recommendations to be added to the reopening process:
The mandatory use of masks/PPE for all students and staff while indoors. (Except in the case of approved medical exemptions)
Ongoing COVID-19 testing for students, teachers, staff and families.
Mandating social distancing at all times within each school.
Provide additional paid sick leave to all MCCSC staff if they become infected with COVID-19.
Online/remote options should be available for employees and online academy teaching positions should be filled by current MCCSC teachers.
Additional social workers should be hired to meet the demand of assistance for students.
“In order to focus on equitable access to education, and further protect our community, we request that you change the current reentry plan to include these recommendations,” the petition said.
One parent who plans on signing the petition said the biggest issue is the mandatory mask rule with respect to students with special medical needs.
“My only concern was mandatory masks because it would exclude the special needs community,” parent Ashlie Moore said. “Without that medical exception written in there it could have caused a lot of issues for a lot of kids.”
The school board is expected to finalize its reentry plan Tuesday night.
So far, more than 300 people have signed the petition.
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