September 14, 2020

Public Comment - 9/14/20

  1. Allison Conti: - "There is no if any doubt of the amount of work that has gone into establishing a return to virtual learning. It seems clear that an every other day schedule works for secondary schools for PE and lab. I’m not sure that all realized ( if so how sad) that this is not conducive for elementary students, which the majority of our population is (especially post redistricting, as 7 grades are here).

Specials from my understanding are for todays for PE and other specials are built around that. They are 1/4, 2/5, 3/6; which would mean that kids getting specials on this cycle would have 1/3 of the required PE mandated by the state regs as well as half of all other students. A lot of time was spent discussing what was equitable and this does not seem to have been considered like other topics. As day 3 and 6 will stay virtual even if we return such specials scheduled on that day will not only still remain at half they will also remain virtual meaning:

Kids with PE on 1/4, 2/5 will have line twice a week

Kids with PE on 3/6 will have once a week virtual

That is one third of the elementary students I figure that has to be around 2k students?

I can’t imagine having a special like art and loving it and being an artist and only getting that class 2 times a month. I’m also pondering how parents renting instruments for about $30-$50 a month will feel when they get virtual instruction 2x a month from a screen but their other child hers it live once or twice a week.

Has the district considered a A1, B1, A2, B2 schedule? Or something similar?

Secondary can use days A and B for labs and PE

Elementary students can have PE on A and B, meaning A1 and B1

Music on A2, ART on B2

Computer can push in during (writers workshop or science?) and Library can push into Readers workshop.

I know the schedule is made but my belief is when this is realized by all especially those with excellence and or challenges in these areas that more will come forward with sane questions and concerns."

RESPONSE:  There are a few special area classes that fall on a 3/6 schedule.  The teachers and building and district administrators have collaborated continuously to resolve any conflicts as a result of the scheduling.  Many of these conflicts have already been resolved.

  1. Christine Jordan: "Is the district ready for the hybrid model to begin on Sept 29th?  As a parent of a first and second grader I would like to know if the district is prepared with the proper technology to ensure the hybrid model is possible beginning September 29th.  If not, we would like to know now and not a few days before the hybrid model is expected to start.  I am sure you have been inundated with comments and issues from many parents.  The teachers have been fantastic trying to adapt to this new way of teaching.  As a parent, I am concerned about the effects that all remote learning will have on my 1st and 2nd grader.  I would like reassurance that the hybrid model is ready to go and the schedule will still continue on as presented as long as the virus and spread remains under control.  My concern is that the district is not prepared to take on a hybrid model and that the parents will not be notified until last minute.  Most of us are trying to balance full time jobs and now "home schooling".  Advanced notice is requested if there is a change to the hybrid plan.

RESPONSE:  Please refer to the Parent's Guide to Hybrid/Remote Learning for additional information. 

  1. Micah Jumpp: a John Jay High School 2017 Alum and the current students, alum, parents, faculty and staff of the WCSD Change Movement: "Despite your Board Goals stating, “We strive to increase participation of community members to vote in school elections and participate in committees, board meetings and presentations.” our attempts to participate with a call to action continues to be ignored.  Is this really how the process is supposed to work?  We go to school here, become responsible citizens, try to get involved, and just get ignored?  No dialogue?  As it seems the world moves on, as if systemic racism is resolved, at least to the public it seems you have. Although OUR district chooses to ignore us, we are committed to staying in touch with current students, and be their voice if necessary, since many continue to state that they do not feel heard, included, or empowered to speak. We would like to inquire why there have been no responses to the many public comments of current students, parents, alumni and community members from your Board Meetings on August, 3, Aug 17 & Aug 31, when your website states that you will respond to public comments within 2 business days?  On your site the last response was back on June 3, 2020.  We ask for transparency. We are not the district’s adversaries, we are members of this community who still come home from college, and still support the community.  Our parents, siblings and other family members still live here.  We want to see the district declare publicly that it is addressing systemic racism, not pretending that if you ignore it, it will just go away.   We still respectfully ask for a meeting to talk about changes."

RESPONSE:  The Board of Education has developed and adopted a goal around Cultural Responsiveness - “To establish a committee to develop a culturally responsive curriculum, both inclusive and accurate, of local, state, and national history.  This would be incorporated into Social Studies and English without placing an additional burden on teachers.”  In addition, the District has created an administrative position to lead the work on Cultural Responsiveness.   The Curriculum Committee will convene to create a sub-committee to address the goal of the Board of Education.  Part of the work of the sub-committee will be to speak with various stakeholders.  A representative from the committee will reach out to you to schedule a meeting to discuss your concerns. Based on the goal that was developed by the Board of Education, the administration will work towards this goal by taking several measures from hiring personnel to establishing Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Committees for each school that will address the content of this comment along with other matters related to equity.   Thank you for your patience.