10 signatures reached
To: Director of Operations
Returning to School Safely in 2022
In order to plan for and care for the most vulnerable in our community, including students and staff with family members who are immunocompromised, students and staff who live with elders and grandparents, students and staff with illnesses and family members who have been systematically excluded from the health care system, it is our duty to quarantine and test staff members and students who have been in close contact in order stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community, regardless of vaccination status.
In order to continue to teach in a safe environment, staff at EL Haynes demand the following:
1. Clear outlines of COVID leave for staff
2. Transparency in reporting weekly COVID data at school
3. A clear plan for when to go virtual based on COVID testing and positive rates. If we truly aim to be trauma informed we need a clear policy of when to go virtual so that we are not reactive, but instead proactive for the safety of the entire community
4. Clear instructions of how to get new masks for both staff and students
5. Built in breaks into the school day for both mask breaks, to deeply sanitize the school and for mental health. This can look like the schedule from 2020, with Wednesdays being an asynchronous day.
6. CO2 transmitter to monitor the air in the hallways
7. Staggered dismissals by floor in order to have less traffic and safer transitions
8. Smaller classroom sizes
9. An end to over-enrollment. Over-enrollment impacts class sizes, teacher retention and the quality of the learning environment. Right now 9th grade has the youngest staff members with high turnover. If 9th grade is the make or break year we should have conditions where more seasoned teachers are teaching. Equity and care means quality teaching. Smaller classroom sizes are also safer when it comes to COVID.
10. A clear plan on how to invite students back to the learning community when they have been on medical leave (especially for an entire semester)
11. More mental health professionals, with a plan for retention. There is high turnover in the wellness department which disrupts the services students receive, the caseloads of counselors and overall mental health and safety of the school.
Why is this important?
We have seen the effects of mass travel during Thanksgiving break and urge the Director of Operations, CEO and Principals at the school to learn from previous trends and create a plan to safely return to school instead of putting hundreds in our community at needless risk. As a school that claims to value equity, it is our duty to plan for and care for the most vulnerable in our community.