John Devine 0

Fall 2020 Options for Tempe Union High School District:

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Dear Tempe Union High School District:

We respectfully submit this pleading for a change in Tempe Union High School District Fall 2020 Flex Program, as outlined in the presentation of June 17. We make this request in the best interest of parents, community, and the wellbeing of our children. While maintaining social distancing, we offer several viable alternatives and a survey for TUHSD to assess and validate community interest in the alternatives.

As parents and grandparents, we do not have the capacity to teach our children or grandchildren properly. We also do not have the residential space. Lastly, we are a distraction to our children as we work at home. We must make noise, performing our work calls and meetings. If we return to our offices, our children will be alone at home, and this would not be of best interest.

The school serves not only to educate our children on reading and math, but also to host them in the environment of peer learning. The City of Tempe is 22% Hispanic, with 35% of children in single parent households, according to the demographic data of Census Bureau, released in 2019. This excludes Guadalupe children, where 69% of all birth are to unwed mothers. These children are not in a situation where they can be self-directed and thrive, while their single parent earns a living and aspires to educate them. The school system is their savior.

The school system has a civic duty to work overtime in this crisis, and to simultaneously provide a healthy environment and in-person education. The flex option provides a minimalist approach. We believe there are 3 other options that while maintain social distance give children more in-person time while maintaining a healthy environment. We cannot fail our children.

Please consider the following 3 options and a prospective survey to implement in the 2020-2021 school year.

Option 1: Magnet Schools – offer 5 day option in some schools and alternate days in other schools. Parents and educators who do not feel comfortable with 5 days will attend school with alternate days per flex program. If more parents choose flex option, the school becomes Flex School. If more parents choose 5 day option, the school becomes 5 Day School.

Option 2: School as 6 Days A Week – Attend school every other day in-person, and dedicate Sunday for cleaning. Make the students clean in between classes. Cleaning is part of education, too. If additional cleaning is needed, it could occur on Sunday or the evenings.

Option 3: 4 Core 2 Shifts – Children attend school 5 days a week. Half attend in the morning, taking the four core classes. The other half attend in the afternoon, taking the four core classes. Since non-core classes are taught on-line, the classroom spaces are converted to core classroom.

Option 4: Continue with the Flex Program.

Please give parents some options to choose from. A parent can always opt out and keep their children home if that’s what they feel is best for their child.

For TUHSD to assess and validate community interest in the alternatives, we merely request we immediately pose the question to parents for option 1, 2, or 3, as well as, the flex program. We are sure you, the reader, can find many problems with these options. We challenge you to act in a leadership capacity to find solutions, and get our children into the classroom.

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