Open Victor Schools Fully
After almost a year out of traditional schooling, our children need to be back in school. Full-time. We respectfully ask that all students in the Victor Central School District be allowed to return to full-time, in-person instruction immediately.
Per the Syracuse.com news source: "Schools in Onondaga County now have the ability to bring students back into the classrooms five days a week after the county today announced it is changing social distancing rules. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, in conjunction with Health Commissioner, Indu Gupta, said data shows it's safe for students to return to in-person instruction This afternoon, County Executive Ryan McMahon announced that districts would be allowed to reduce social distancing in classrooms from 6 feet to 3 feet. They will also be allowed to reduce the spacing on buses, possibly putting two kids in each seat.”
In addition, the following large districts, in Nassau and Suffolk counties with a positivity rate of over 4%, have an in-person, everyday option for Grades K-12:
- Bethpage, Massapequa, Carle Place, East Williston, Valley Stream East, Bellmore Merrick, New Hyde Park (elementary district), Hauppauge, Three village, Shoreham Wading River, Hewlett-Woodmere, Island Trees, Cold Spring Harbor, Rockville Center, East Meadow.
If these other NYS public schools can fully re-open alongside almost all private schools, so can Victor. Our children are suffering academically, emotionally and socially and they deserve their right to a free and public education. Here are some more examples that show that the re-opening of Victor Schools can be done safely and why there is urgency required in doing so:
1. Significant data collected during this pandemic shows that 3’ of social distancing for children in school is safe, combined with other safety protocols in place (i.e., masking, barriers, health screenings). Teachers can continue to maintain a 6’ distance from students.
- “Why 3’ of Social Distancing Should be Enough in Schools,” by Drs. Joseph Allen and Sara Bleich, Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, article appearing in The Washington Post, November 11, 2020
- Study: Little to no difference in school COVID rates between 3, 6 feet of distance (boston25news.com).
2. As Governor Cuomo and Dr. Mendoza have both stated, our schools are one of the safest places for children to be (NYS Covid Report Card Data, 2/17/2021). Children are not vectors of spread and spread does not happen at schools. This has been shown repeatedly.
- Children are not COVID-19 super spreaders: time to go back to school | Archives of Disease in Childhood (bmj.com)
- Science Brief: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 schools | CDC
3. The United Nations and the WHO both cite the negative impact that the lack of schooling has had on the social, emotional and academic health and well-being of our children.
- U.N. uses empty desks of "Pandemic Classroom" in call on nations to end "very worrying" COVID school closures - CBS News
- update39-covid-and-schools.pdf (who.int)
4. Students of all ages are experiencing emotional, social, and physical distress from being out-of-school and without their teachers on a full-time basis. They are disengaged from their teachers and peers. They are struggling at home with learning; parents are not educators.
- Kids' mental health has suffered during Covid-19 pandemic - CNN
- Teen Mental Health Has Suffered During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Time
5. There are several opinion articles that state teachers feel they are working harder now than ever. The workload of teachers has doubled and their in-person time with students has been halved.
- Teaching in the Pandemic: ‘This Is Not Sustainable’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
- This Isn't What We Meant By Hybrid Learning--WeAreTeachers
6. Modified "high risk" sports have completed their season and JV/Varsity level "high risk" sports are nearing the end of theirs. There has been no increase in positive cases in the community, in school or amongst the teams themselves. This is excellent news and it should be used as conclusive evidence that children are not vectors of spread and that schools can be opened fully with reduced social distancing.
Again, we respectfully ask that you reopen our schools immediately on a full-time basis, while continuing to maintain the remote option for those who request/need it.