Ongoing Lakewood City Schools' Remote Learning Should Be Offered To Families Who Need It
LAKEWOOD PARENTS FOR ONGOING REMOTE LEARNING
We ask that the Lakewood City School District (LCS) extend authentic LCS Remote At-Home Learning for students who need it throughout the COVID-19 pandemic 2020-2021 school year, after buildings re-open. In this way our community will be safer, better educated, and remain intact.
This petition was created by Lakewood parents to urge the District to keep our school community together when buildings re-open. Though many of our kids will be able to go back into the buildings, District survey responses show that some Lakewood students require ongoing remote learning.
Right now, Lakewood children are learning together at home, with Lakewood teachers and online versions of their regularly scheduled classes. When buildings re-open, children who must remain home to protect their health or the health of their families must switch, mid semester, to a generic prepackaged online eLearning course. They will be unable to complete the classes they started and will lose contact with their Lakewood teachers and classmates.
While eLearning provides the opportunity for independent learning, its curriculum does not mirror LCS’s, and completely leaves out electives and many upper level courses. It is not a substitute or replacement for a LCS education.
All Lakewood children deserve access to a Lakewood City Schools education and safe choices.
Allowing children to stay home with LCS courses and teachers benefits everyone:
--Home learners: by limiting their exposure to large groups while allowing them to continue with their LCS teachers and courses.
--In-building learners: by limiting the number of children in the buildings sharing the same classroom space, and providing an easy transition to home learning for in-building students who become ill and/or have to quarantine.
--Both groups, by allowing them to remain classmates sharing teachers, assignments, ideas and experiences throughout the school year with a hybrid model that is being used by many of our neighboring school districts.
Lakewood City Schools' current reopening policy:
1.) DISCRIMINATES AGAINST AT-RISK FAMILIES by depriving their children of access to a LCS education. When buildings open, their students’ LCS education ends and they will be isolated from their in-building peers. These families pay taxes, along with all Lakewood residents, to support the provision of authentic local education for all Lakewood children.
2.) PROMOTES COMMUNITY SPREAD OF COVID-19 by requiring that children from at risk families--who would stay home if there was an online option--go into buildings to continue their LCS education. This will increase class sizes and exposure for in-building learners and staff, along with increasing the chance that vulnerable children and their families will get sick.
Under the current plan, buildings will re-open when Cuyahoga County reaches the public emergency level of ORANGE, with students 6 feet apart, in buildings every other day. At YELLOW, all students are back in school together, 5 days a week, 3 feet apart, though State of Ohio guidelines require "at least 6 feet from non-household members" for the yellow level. (https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/OPHASM/COVID-19-Risk-Level-Guidelines-GP.pdf ) Students and staff risk greater exposure at this level. Currently, Lakewood’s virus rate is one of the highest in the county. Though the District is basing its reopening decisions on Cuyahoga County statistics, when the county average is ORANGE or YELLOW, Lakewood’s local level may be RED or PURPLE.
3.) CAUSES FAMILIES TO WITHDRAW FROM THE DISTRICT because their children are not being offered an authentic LCS education. They are switching to other more accommodating schools, homeschooling or more robust online options. Every time a child withdraws from the District, LCS lose money and that child's input into our school family. This is a loss for our entire community.
WE ASK THAT THE DISTRICT USE A HYBRID MODEL WHEN SCHOOLS RE-OPEN.
A HYBRID MODEL WILL ALLOW AT-HOME STUDENTS AND IN-BUILDING STUDENTS AND TEACHERS TO STAY CONNECTED.
Versions of the this model are being offered by surrounding school districts:
* Students have started Remote Learning together online. Teachers, students and classmates will have already established relationships and will function as one unit when buildings re-open. There is one lesson plan, per class, for all learners, in-building and at-home.
* To preserve bandwidth, in-building lectures are recorded (using smart phones) and uploaded for all. The camera faces the teacher, preserving student privacy. Livestreaming is reserved for staggered weekly interactions between in-building and at-home learners and teachers. All use Google Classroom and Progressbook as usual.
* To keep from overburdening in-building teachers, LCS teachers who are currently positioned to monitor eLearners are assigned to at-home learners to serve as liaisons with in-building classroom teachers.
* With this method, in-building learners who become ill or who have to quarantine can continue their education uninterrupted from home. In the event of an increasing virus level in the county, this system facilitates a seamless transition back to remote learning for in-building learners if necessary.
* At-home learners can participate with in-building learners and/or each other in small-group virtual sessions which would allow ALL students to practice and develop this valuable skill needed in today's world while staying connected and learning from one another.
As we saw this past Spring, we need each other. There is more to this situation than academics; this is not the time to split our community.
Better together. One Lakewood.
Lakewood Parents Contact the author of the petition
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