Keep Lubbock schools online for grading period 1
Superintendent Kathy Rollo and
Lubbock Independent School District Board
1628 19th St
Lubbock TX 79401
Re: Closure Order for Lubbock Independent School District (LISD)
Dear Superintendent Rollo and Board,
As a group of concerned LISD parents, we are writing to urge you to close Lubbock schools for the first grading period (nine school weeks) of school year 2020/2021 in order to keep our children- and their teachers and staff- safe.
Our public health team here in Lubbock has done an amazing job keeping health data available and usable for Lubbock citizens during this pandemic. This data is clear: Lubbock is in the middle of community spread for Covid-19 to a much greater degree than at any time thus far. Spread is not restricted to the very old or to the very ill; 400 young people between ages 10 and 19 have fallen ill, along with a not-insignificant number of very young children ages birth to nine (124). Given a per-day increase of 108 cases and 1,100 tests run as of July 14, 2020, there is a positivity rate of 9.81% - almost twice the 5% maximum positivity rate deemed safe for re-opening.
Our concern is what will happen when children come to school ill, as they do every year, or when children come to school as asymptomatic carriers. One or two sick children can infect, or at least expose, huge numbers of staff and other students in the blink of an eye. Our schools are not built to support children spaced six feet (or even three feet) apart. Even if every child, teacher and staffer were to be 100% compliant with mask requirements- which it is absolutely certain they will not be- the physical spacing would be unsafe.
We understand that families will have financial and childcare hardships if schools are closed. We are aware that children of all ages need to be around other kids and their teachers to thrive. With all of our hearts, we want to be at a place where in-person schools can reassume the important role they play in all of our lives. But we want to do that safely. If our children die or get sick, incurring health consequences they will live with the rest of their lives, or if our teachers and staff endure horrific illness and death, we will have defeated the goal of making school a vibrant, essential and safe part of our students’ lives. Instead, we will have made schools frightening, dangerous and even deadly.
Please issue a school closure order for the first grading period of school year 2020/2021. It’s a life-and-death decision for our community.