Let's agree to be FLEXible

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Dear WRSD Community,

Monday, February 15, the school board voted in favor of the next stage of reopening. As part of that vote, they added an unexpected amendment. The unexpected amendment is the topic of this petition. Though we may feel differently about phase 5, I think we might reach common ground on this.

This amendment changed the Wednesday flex day to a regular school day. At face value, this seems harmless. In reality, during a time of chaos and unpredictability, it has been a critical time for our teachers to design and implement a highly demanding differentiated instruction model required during a pandemic.

Teachers use the time to:

  • Touch base with students who have been struggling and work with them one on one.
  • Have IEP and 504 meetings
  • Have staff meetings
  • Pursue professional development to improve outcomes during these trying times.
  • Take lessons they have done before and convert them into meaningful lessons that can be done both in-person and virtually.
  • Use this time to record instructional videos and redesign materials for students to use remotely (and sometimes while in quarantine).
  • Some schools use it to check in on the mental well-being of the students.
  • Use it to email and catch up with parents.
  • Use it to collaborate with other teachers to help increase student outcomes.

During a "normal" day they have a brief prep period, but with Covid, much of this time is taken with additional tasks that keep students safe.

Ideally, no teacher would be teaching both in-person and remotely, but the reality is that without hiring more staff, a huge number of the faculty across the district remains responsible for both in-person and remote kiddos. Without this "flex" day, planning would suffer greatly and as a result, the educational experience would suffer as well.

Multiple administrators made an appeal to the board in support of keeping the flex day during phase 5 (as it had always been part of phase 5) but the board kept the amendment.

My appeal to you is that as parents, guardians, and grandparents, we let the school board and Superintendent know that we are in support of keeping the flex day. We believe it is a small sacrifice to make when by comparison, there is so much saved.

Please consider putting your name on this petition, and feel free to add comments. We will pass the names and your comments to the board and administration of WRSD.

"I sign this petition as a show of my support to KEEP the Wednesday Flex day during phase 5. I believe it is critical to teacher preparedness and their ability to connect with students and parents during the extraordinary demands of the pandemic."

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