It seems like a long time ago that we were fighting to get our kids back to in person learning without the threat of constant exposures and quarantines. We started this school year unmasked, then promptly and without warning were required to mask children as young as 2 years old. The new KidsFirst board members were elected in part because they promoted parental choice. They were not anti-mask, anti-vaxx, but PRO-parent. Doesn't it seem extreme now, just six months later, that a liberal comm-UNITY slate candidate was vocal about her support for the potential of required COVID vaccines for all DCSD students?
Just ask your student if they are happier at school now than they were 6 months ago?
Douglas County made our choice loud and clear. Enough covering our kids faces when they're trying to learn speech and phonics. Enough forcing them to stay home when the charter schools all around the district were actively enjoying in person learning every day. During this very contentious time, the previous school board could have chosen to respect the choices of other schools in the community. Instead, charter schools in the area were inspected and reported to Tri-County Health for non-compliance by our former Superintendent Corey Wise. It's hard not to think it was because students were leaving the district in droves to go to charters.
Many of us moved to Douglas County just to be a part of the incredible school district. But during the COVID shut downs, academic performance and the mental health of our children began to slip out of control. The previous school board quietly relaxed standards as to not have increased failure numbers. Counselors were brought into the district, but the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus took precedent over the fear and stress that quarantining, masking, and mask enforcement was causing to teachers and students alike.
All of the issues above turned out to be choices that the community voted against on November 2nd, 2021. On November 9th, 2021 a facebook page was created by the campaign manager for one of the liberal candidates to inform the community if/when a recall petition would be available. This was before the new KidsFirst Board was even seated! The recall chatter was never a matter of "if". The losing team began to work towards overturning the election results before the new board even had one day on the job. The subject matter of the chaos in the news was ever changing - Corey Wise, equity policy, lawsuits, teacher and student walk outs. I would encourage you to tune out the noise in news. Tune out the loud voices around you. And simply listen to your kids. Just ask your student if they are happier at school now than they were 6 months ago? Are they in an environment where you feel they are learning with confidence, rather than worrying about the next exposure letter? Is the relationship with your child's teacher better than before because you can be in the classroom, engage in person, and not have conversations about your child's mask or number of absences, but instead about their academic success? Please remember that passion and engagement you felt during that time when our kids future was in question.
Submitted by a Douglas County mother who loves her children's teachers