Emma Slater 0

Richmond Country Schools Must Start

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To the Richmond County Board of Education:

For the academic, psychological, and behavioral welfare of our children, we implore you to start school on September 8, 2020, either virtual or physical. Our children deserve the right to an education and a solid foundation for future success.

Many of us feel strongly that our children need to be in a classroom to optimize their chances at success, both academically and socially. The emotional risks to our children are at least as great as the physical health of our children. If you feel forced to cancel face to face education, the kids that are enrolled in face to face learning deserve the same quality of online education as the virtual learners. For those of us who chose that route, our children should receive virtual or synchronous learning, NOT asynchronous instruction The spring packets did not and will not work. The spring did not engage our children. The spring was not a successful educational experience.

Furthermore, please consider the impact to our families outside of the classroom. Many of us are single parents and working parents who cannot afford to stay home from work. This leaves us with the financial burden of childcare or even worse, leaving our children at home. There are many families and children who rely on our schools for additional support, such as meals and protection from abuse. We must support our Richmond County families.

If the Board of Education believes that athletics can proceed, then the doors of the schools need to be open. We do not believe that athletics are more important than education in Richmond County.

We understand that faculty and staff will be taking risks with face to face learning, the same risks that faculty and staff in neighboring Columbia County are taking. These are the same risks that many of us deemed as essential during this pandemic have taken. With only 35% of students opting to return in person, social distancing is feasible for staff and children alike. We can follow CDC guidelines both at home and at school. Our Richmond County School teachers are essential!

Our children need and deserve an education. If you don't feel like it's safe for us to return in person, then please give us all a virtual, synchronous education. Please do not delay our start date again. Now is the time for Richmond County pull together for our children. Our children need and want to go back to school. We want to give them the best chances to succeed both this year and in the future.

Please consider your decision carefully. The health and welfare of our children depend on it.

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