Return all students to classrooms who want to go!
Dear Board Members,
I know that you will be considering the return of students to schools on Tuesday, February 9. While I do not envy your decision-making dilemma, I do want to encourage you to be bold and courageous at a time when our children need heroes.
The data has been clear since June 2020 - schools can be safe to reopen. Adverse effects of SARS-CoV-2 are least likely to be seen in children and youth, transmission from students to their teachers is vanishingly rare, and across the country and globe there is no evidence to show that schools drive community spread. To suggest otherwise is to deny empirical research studies so numerous, I couldn't even list them in this email.
But what we do know with certainty is that an entire generation will be lost if we do not return them to the necessary and desired learning environments soon. Suicides of teens and tweens are on the rise. Learning losses are stacking up - it could take years to catch some of our most vulernable students up to their more affluent peers. You have already been told by BoE staff that child abuse and neglect reporting is severely and disturbingly low this year. Many of our children and youth are locked in a nightmare.
I know that there are a number of teachers who are scared to return and even some parents who do not wish to be forced to return their kids to classrooms. I agree that no one should be forced! If Charles County would just allow everyone a choice and match teachers to learners in their selected environment, then everyone wins.
Please do not say it is too difficult, because that means our children's lives and their futures are not worth making difficult decisions. Do the right thing - return learners to classrooms at the earliest possible date.