The responses below are some of the comments shared with Jefferson County Board of Education members. There have been more than 400 submissions to the board with feedback. We’ll continue to update the responses of those that want their messages shared to the public.
Please don't send kids back until we have stayed in the yellow consistently. With protesting and riots about to be bigger, our numbers may jump even higher than orange.
My children are struggling with no in-person instruction, especially my 1st grader and 6th grader. We will drive our children to and from school, as I’m sure many other parents would be happy to do as well. If people are high risk or too scared, give them the option to continue NTI...I know the teachers are trying their best, but this is NOT working and we are failing our children. If we could afford private school, that’s where my kids would be. Why has NOTHING been done to get systems in place for a return to school plan over the past 6 months? In the meantime, I have lost my job and would need to find one that pays a small fortune to cover not just childcare, but education for my 3 kids to even make it worth it.
Parents, guardians, and caregivers need to have a choice when it comes to sending our kids back to school. Everything else is opening back up gradually, and places like bars and restaurants were just given permission to stay open later so people can watch their precious sports. It sickens me to see that sports are prioritized over children’s education. Start with a phased in approach. At the last board meeting, our own department of health said that she thought reopening could be done safely in a phased in approach just like everywhere else. And also open it up for parents to choose between in-person and a virtual academy. I have children who aren’t just suffering academically but also emotionally and mentally.
Remote learning is working and we are all adjusting. Projections for this fall and winter are grim (https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/kentucky?view=total-deaths&tab=trend). This is not the time to go back. The district cannot enforce proper mask wearing, which endangers everyone, as does an inability to properly space in classrooms that are anything but well ventilated.
We cannot have a city in which private schools are back in person and public schools are not. This negatively impacts our achievement gaps and other SES-related disparities. Beyond that, if the infection numbers in private schools are indeed increasing, the numbers for our city will be comprised so that public schools never get into the "green" category to safely return to school. Other large districts around the nation are creating varied schedules to host small classes, maximizing the use of outdoor classrooms, and asking for parental and community assistance for transportation. We can certainly be as creative within our existing school structure. However, I would ask for us to also be innovative in this unique opportunity we have to re-structure as we mean to go on (i.e. year round schooling, evidence-based practices of smaller classes and enhanced opportunities for daily physical activity and holistic instruction that includes all subject areas beyond math and reading, start times for elementary that are earlier and start times for middle/high that are later).
I’m asking that you allow our children to return to in-person instruction. It’s possible to put the safety measures in place and return. Our children are suffering academically and socially under the current NTI model. Please allow them to return!
I do not feel safe sending my children to school until there is a treatment/vaccine.
I am a parent of a 4th grader and a 6th grader, and I am extremely wary of returning to in-person school at this time and with current covid stats. As plans are made, please, please also seek teachers' input and listen to their concerns and opinions. Their voices are so very valuable and important.
I believe that it is still far too risky in Jefferson County for us to return to face to face operations. However the public and employee's need to be able to make plans on for the next 6 weeks. I would encourage you to announce a decision ASAP so that all may prepare. Again, the risk at this time is still far to great for normal operations. I believe a decision to return the 1st of next year is very appropriate at this time.
I appreciate all the thought going in to opening up. I would like to hear more details of the plan and knowing that those details are being ironed out would help. Currently with a first grader and me working full time, it is very difficult to maintain and without hearing the plan, it feels never ending. My first grader also has an IEP and really struggles learning virtually. The teachers are doing great and everything they can, but there is only so much they can do virtually. Please consider outside the box options to open our elementary schools and socially distance as much as possible. I think it would help a lot of parents piece of mind if we could see and hear what our schools we’re doing to prepare the classrooms so we felt like maybe they will get back some day.