Stop the delay - reopen schools to phase 2!
Dear Board of Education,
It is unconscionable that you would halt your reopening for schools just days before students and their families were preparing to return. Your late-breaking decision has cause irreparable harm and has all but guaranteed that healthy students will not return to their classrooms EVER in the 2020-2021 school year.
A cited "rise in cases" is a dangerous game to play with the families of Charles County. Testing availability and prevalence is manipulable. Charles County is among one of the WORST counties for coronavirus testing in the state of Maryland. Most testing sites only test those with symptoms or a known, close exposure. We do not test a large swath of the population and so our positivity rate will always skew high. Hospitalizations and deaths should be the indicator, both of which have been low for MONTHS.
You are basing your decisions on the political pressure of the Teachers' Union and not the most important needs of the children you have been tasked to serve. This could have been avoided if your reopening plan, from the start, included a choice for both teachers and students. You could have paired the teachers willing to return with the students who also wanted to return and left everyone else in the virtual system.
High School students are failing. Elementary students are not learning anything. Special education students are not being provided true FAPE and you know it to be true. Kids are at the lowest risk for adverse effects of the coronavirus. You are doing unimaginable harm to students by keeping them at home. You are forcing the hands of our low-income and single-parent families. This is unjust! I urge you to reconsider your decision, even if it means it is unpopular.