Petition to Offer Hybrid or In Person for Fall Semester Lodi
Dear Lodi School Board Members,
Our Lodi School Board of Education announced on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, they have decided to move our district to an online enhanced instructional model through the first term of the school year (November 6).
As you can imagine, many of our community members do not support your decision. As a result of these discussions, we would like to present you with the following thoughts:
Previous sponsored parent surveys and communication from the Lodi School Board of Education overwhelmingly support in-person education for their children, starting this fall.
Lodi has become an extremely competitive and much-watched school system in our surrounding areas. We have partnered with our school board frequently to ensure that our mission is the same – what is best for the students, teachers, and our community. Our schools consistently exceed expectations and have been considered in the same light as the top-ranking schools in our state. As such, we believe we should take a leadership role in the handling of our current situation. The Lodi School Board of Education has an opportunity to use what we have come up with as a solution instead of moving our entire 1,500 students to on-line learning for the 1st Quarter of the 2020-2021 school year.
We urge you to open our schools for in-person education starting Sept. 1, 2020 or at a minimum a hybrid approach to learning. Many school districts around us are doing this and we feel we can safely do the same. Deforest - online/hybrid option. Poynette: 4 day a week hybrid option, Waunakee (voting Monday for hybrid), Baraboo - full learning. Sauk City - 3 models offered. We propose live streaming as many classes as we can or doing ZOOM classes so that those in our community who are not comfortable sending their children to school will have an on-line option. The existing computer set up for on-line enhanced learning that you proposed could make this process easily attainable.
With less than four weeks left before our schools open and many parents feeling that the current solution you voted in, on-line enhanced learning, is not the most practical or viable option for our children’s education, we are requesting that our voices be heard and we be given the option to revisit this decision through a special board meeting on or before August 10, 2020.
Best Option is, of course, in person or a portion that can be live streamed or delivered via ZOOM computer learning.
1. Parents have the option of choosing a situation that works best for them and their families. If numbers do not work out with the ever changing Covid criteria, the option allows for flexibility. i.e. some students may have to utilize the on-line version from time to time, but they will still have a scheduled class, at a specific time with a specific teacher and still get to experience the classroom atmosphere.
2. Having a daily schedule allows for children, staff and working parents to plan.
3. There is built in accountability for showing up, whether on-line or in person, at a designated place and time. Many of us see this as an integral part of our children’s education.
4. This option allows for children to get back into some sort of routine and socialization, which we are repeatedly hearing the importance of from numerous sources, as well as seeing what the lack of it is doing to our own kids.
5. It allows teachers to teach their classes in a traditional fashion and not have to prepare separate lessons for on-line school.
6. This system will allow for a much easier transition for all when we are ready to go back to pre-Covid ways.
7. We will be using the space and assets taxpayers are already paying for, showing the need and benefits of continuing to have school buildings, the number of faculty we have, and all the related expenses. We have a system that works well, we can merely modify it for the current set of circumstances. We would not have to use additional taxpayer dollars to create a temporary system that is not used in the future.
8. We will be modeling to our children how we can use what we have to create solutions without reinventing the wheel.
9. The structure will already be in place for flexibility with ever changing Covid spacing and numbers restrictions, for unplanned absences, etc.
10. Children who benefit most from having a place to go to receive an education will have that option available to them, especially our special education students.
11. We believe there are more benefits to this option than we can list. Each household has circumstances as unique as it’s children, however, this option provides a good alternative for all, especially those in the intermediate through high school grades.
In conclusion, best case scenario for our school district would be to return to in -person school with the BOE, Columbia County Health and DCHS approved Covid regulations intact, PPE/Social distancing/cleaning procedures, etc. As an alternative, we are proposing an option that would allow the choice between in-person or on-line classes without doubling up on any of the work involved in doing so. This option allows for the most flexibility for the ever changing Covid rules. A live-stream or ZOOM of each class, which the at-home child can watch and participate in. The existing infrastructure in each classroom makes the process easily attainable. The teachers will not have to create a separate online curriculum or use additional materials. In Addition, the at-home student will feel supported and socially part of the class.
We feel strongly that this is an opportunity for the Lodi School Board of Education to take a leadership role in the handling of Covid-19 in the education system that is in the best interests of our students, teachers, staff, taxpayers, and community at large.
Interested members of the Lodi Community.