KLSD 5 Day In-Person Learning
Many Westchester school districts are moving to bringing students back to school full time 5 days a week. The new CDC guidance allows for less than 6 ft distance when community transmission is low. The district need to act on this guidance and return our K-8 students full time in person with their teacher all day this spring. Please sign the below petition if you would like to support pressing the district on returning our students to the classroom. This petition will be presented to the Board of Education Thursday February 25th prior to the BOE meeting. Please try to attend the BOE meeting or submit a letter of support at KLSDBOEPublicForum@klschools.org.
Dear Mr. Selesnick and Members of the KLSD Board of Education
We the XXX undersigned parents of KLSD elementary and middle school students approach the district and the Board of Education requesting a return to full time, five (5) day, in person learning in March/early April for all grades K-8 early this spring, in line with many other Westchester districts and new CDC guidance for schools.
Our students need more in-person schooling than the hybrid model allows. The hybrid model is insufficient to provide the strong foundation in reading, writing and arithmetic that is fundamental to the future learning and performance of our elementary students nor provides the needed development of our middle school students to ensure a successful high school career. The hybrid and asynchronous Wednesday model has shortened the instructional time and limited interaction with teachers. This is not setting the children up for success as they progress through their education and will affect them through their entire KLSD education. Furthermore, the amount of time our elementary and early middle school students are spending online is detrimental to their development. We are also very concerned for our children’s mental health.
Nothing can replace in-person interaction with the teachers. In-person interaction is the best way teachers can provide students with the appropriate support and one-on-one time they need. Our students are struggling at all levels of performance; we cannot let our children slip through the many cracks of the hybrid model especially when so many districts in Westchester are making changes and moving forward (successfully) with full time learning.
As you are aware, many school districts in Westchester, including Bedford, Pleasantville, Valhalla, Rye, Harrison, Scarsdale, Ossining, and others are planning or looking into a full time, five (5) day return for students this spring, some as early as March. This forward movement would be in addition to the districts that have already prioritized their younger learners, for example, Somers, Byram Hills, and Chappaqua. We are requesting KLSD follow this lead, communicate the plan, and immediately return our elementary and middle school students to in-person five (5) day instruction early this Spring. To date other district have been creative with use of space, different model for different grades, prioritizing learning for our younger more vulnerable students, while we left Lewisboro Elementary empty, didn’t implement plexiglass barriers etc. We need to be more creative and forward thinking now to not leave our students behind this school year and to maintain our status as a top school district. We firmly believe sending yet another parent/student survey will ultimately waste valuable time and will not benefit the decision-making dialogue at this point.
The new recently issued CDC guidelines allow for a reduction in the six-foot spacing within a classroom while maintaining safety. Adhering to this new guidance will allow KLSD to return all students who want to, not only full time in the building, but full time with their teacher. For even those who attend four days but split classrooms, this will be a huge benefit to be physically in the same room as the teacher all day. It is imperative the district work within this new guidance and bring all children who want to be back into school, while maintaining remote learning option for those who prefer to keep their children out of school.
We appreciate the hard work the district and the Board has done in this unprecedented year. You have sought to improve the experience and understand the needs of the students in this ever-changing situation. Understanding student need allowed you to open sports for the high school. Please apply that same understanding, implement creative, forward thinking solutions to return our elementary and middle school students in full time this spring.