Return Ankeny Community School District Students and Teachers to the Classroom for FULL-TIME, On-Site, In-Person Learning
End Hybrid Now! Ankeny Community Schools Need Full-Time 5-Day In Person Instruction.
Petition for the Ankeny Community School District (ACSD) Board of Education to vote in support of the following on the September 21, 2020 board vote:
- Decision-making "Delivery Model Matrix" that follows practical guidance as communicated from the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Polk County Health Department.
- ACSD transitions to traditional full-time, on-site, in-person learning.
We’ve tried hybrid and it’s not working. 2 days (or 2.5 on Wed) of teacher-led learning over the course of week is NOT enough.
Our children’s future is dependent on the educational, social-emotional, mental, physical well-being they receive at school. Undermining the importance of schools is detrimental to their long-term success, and we must offer full-time instruction for students if that is what the parents feel is best for their student(s).
The ACSD Administration has:
- Changed the way their Absentee Calculation to follow the IDPH guidance – ACSD has updated rate to EXCLUDE counting “close contact (quarantine)” and “other absence types (vacation, funeral, etc)” in the absentee rate
- Responded to parent emails and listened to input and concerns in board meetings - we are asking them to take action on those concerns in this petition
- Created a DRAFT decision making matrix that currently uses range thresholds of community spread from guidance they said they received from the Polk County Health department. Polk County guidance is NOT published anywhere on their website, and on their website under “COVID-19 Resources (K-12, Childcare, and Universities)” they link to Iowa's Return to Learn: Reopening Iowa’s Schools Safely and Responsibly.
Full-time in person school is the best option for students for several reasons:
- Based on the recommendations as communicated by the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Public Health -- the current Absenteeism Rate and the Polk County 14-Day Positivity Rate meets the guidelines to return to traditional, full-time, on-site, in-person learning.
- Hybrid learning doesn't meet the individual learning needs of every student.
- Inequity in the way’s parents would be able to support forced online learning in the hybrid plan.
- Mental health, nutrition, and well-being would be a concern for some kids who are forced to do half of their learning at home.
- The large burden this places on teachers tasked with trying to keep these kids caught up on their learning.
- Promotes a safe and stable environment for students whose own living circumstances may hinder their ability to be successful online learners
- Importance of providing a full academic experience like other communities and private schools that have already adopted a five-day plan
- A comprehensive online option is in place for parents who would prefer their kids learn at home and the five-day option puts choice in the hands of the parents.
ACSD gave parents the choice to elect a 100% virtual option, but did not give us the option to start the school year 100% full-time. The first 6 weeks of the 2020-2021 school year started in the hybrid learning model, and we are asking the board to vote in favor of us returning full-time, in-person learning at the Sept 21 board mtg.
Other schools in districts around us, West Des Moines and Waukee, are successfully managing full-time, in-person learning with numbers similar to us on a hybrid model. The students in our schools are playing school sports and doing extracurricular activities with little to no issues.
We should take a DATA-DRIVEN and FACT-BASED approach to opening schools, NOT an emotional or political one.
- Based on the recommendations as communicated by the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Polk County Health Department -- the current Absenteeism Rate and the Polk County 14-Day Positivity Rate meets the guidelines to return to traditional, full-time, on-site, in-person learning.
- Returning to school for traditional, full-time, on-site, in-person learning is essential for our students, teachers, and our community.
- We will not stand for our students being left behind those in neighboring communities or private schools, who are choosing to follow the recommendations as communicated by the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Polk County Health Department.
- We appreciate the measures that have been taken to keep our students, families and teachers safe, but we must continue to move forward.
Ankeny Families, we need your support!
- If you’re a parent/guardian, and want you child(ren) to be in the classroom five days a week, you should sign this petition
- If you’re a teacher, staff or school administrator, and want to RETURN to the classroom/building to be with your students every day, you should sign this petition
- If you’re a community member or business owner, who wants to show your support for the benefits of going back to five day in person instruction, you should sign this petition.
- If you’re a family member or caretaker, who will have to help carry the burden of care and educating students on asynchronous days, you should sign this petition.
If you want to help ensure that our students go back to school full-time in person, please sign this petition and share it with your friends and family that reside in Ankeny, Iowa.