My Letter to Dr. Levin, Ventura County Health Officer - Sandee Everett, M.S.Ed.

My Letter to Dr. Levin - Ventura County Health Officer

My Email to Dr. Levin, Ventura County Health Officer, on August 6th regarding opening the schools
From: Everett, Sandee R <severett@conejousd.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 6, 2020 2:28 PM
To: Levin, Robert <Robert.Levin@ventura.org>
Subject: Re: School
 
Dear Dr. Levin,
 
Thank you so much for your email and reply to my public comment during the Board of Supervisor's meeting. I gladly waited 8 1/2 hours for the chance to provide a 60 second comment because I believe it is vital to the well-being of our children that they be allowed to return to their classrooms with their friends and teachers THIS FALL. It is not right for these children to be locked down. Healthy children should not be shut inside. 
 
Before our superintendent decided to close our schools (and then Gov. Newsom mandated the closures the next day), our District planned to comply with all CDC safety guidelines. We received $10 million in federal stimulus money to safely open our schools and to address learning loss. 
 
Now, with schools completely shut down for in-person learning, the parents that work are left scrambling to know what to do with their children. I fear that children that are far too young to be left alone, will be at home trying to get themselves onto their computers for school. This is NOT RIGHT. 
 
I received the following statement from a mom in our District even before we completely shut school down. She was concerned with only having kids at school for a couple of hours and then having to pick them up.:
 
"Many of the Spanish speaking students are thinking about the remote learning alternative because of the responsibilities they have within their respective family units. With the parents back at work, it is them the ones who will have to drop off and pick up the younger sibling from school and baby sit until the parents return."

How can we, in good conscience, keep our schools closed when we know what the negative educational, emotional, and physical consequences will be to the children. Schools are essential for a reason.
 
The CDC, AAP and NIH indicate that, for kids, the risks of lockdown are greater than the risks of COVID-19. Science shows that children are not super-spreaders of COVID-19, are unlikely to catch COVID-19 and teachers are unlikely to catch COVID-19 from the children. 
 
I am petitioning you to advocate at the highest levels to get our schools open. Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Westlake are not hotspots in our county. We can protect any vulnerable populations within our community without punishing the kids. Teachers or students that feel more safe at home should still be allowed to do so. But please do not force that on everyone. The kids are suffering. They need socialization. They need to use their minds in school and their bodies on the playgrounds and during sports, dance, and other important activities. We have been sitting in our houses for 5 months now. We cannot continue to do this to the kids.
 
If anyone can get the shut down orders reversed, it would be county health officers. I am asking that you do all in your power to make this happen - for the kids.
 
Thank you so much again for your kind response.
 
Very sincerely,
 
Sandee
Trustee, CVUSD
 
My comments are my own and do not necessarily represent the CVUSD or the board as a whole.

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