Kristin Hill | Time to Go Back to School

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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I know teachers and administrations are doing the best they can to teach our children remotely, but schools are failing too many of our children. 

All children will have problems with remote school sometimes, but there are many children with limited resources who are missing out altogether. According to at least a dozen surveys, student participation in affluent households is estimated at about 80% while participation among poorer households is estimated to be about 50%. Remote school disproportionately handicaps poorer students. They may have limited internet, limited parental involvement, limited abilities to navigate online technology. The result is two to five out of every 10 students may not be participating in school at all. According to another report, many schools are spending their time on “perfunctory” instruction, or review, rather than new content. Even students who are logging on to class regularly are bored and disengaged.  

Returning to school is safe for students and teachers. New York, for example, has had many schools open for about a month. Has this endangered students and teachers? No. In fact, out of 16,348 staff members and students tested there, there have been 28 positive cases (20 teachers and eight students). Mobile testing centers near Brooklyn and Queens schools, where there have been new outbreaks in the neighborhoods, found four positive cases among staff and students out of 3,300 tests conducted the last week of September. Science has proved repeatedly that children are unlikely to contract COVID-19, and when they do, symptoms are mild.   

Newhall School District is ready to apply to the county for waivers to return TK thru 2nd grade to school. The only obstacle is the unions. The district must have the support of our local unions to apply for the waiver and many are refusing. People in all kinds of professions have returned to work amidst much higher risks than our teachers would be facing. I am sure teachers go to the grocery store or pick up food, maybe go to Walmart or visit family. EVERY child needs an education. It is cowardly to deny, particularly our most vulnerable, out of disproportionate fear, the crucial education they are entitled to. Please stop obstructing our children’s return to school. 

Kristin Hill


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